Literally Chic: Interview with Designer Derek Lam

With reality tv, blogs, tweets and facebook updates, our world has become very much about instant gratification and fast everything, including fashion.  In contrast, for his Fall/Winter 2012 collection Derek Lam found solace and inspiration in the cultural archives of a library.

Derek Lam, a native San Franciscan, graduated from Parsons School of Design and began his career at Michael Kors.  After 12 years in 2002, Derek Lam launch his eponymous line with much fanfare.  He captures the unfussiness of American sportswear but his incredible attention to detail, finish and fabrics provide for that all important feel of luxury.  On April 19th 2012, he returned to his roots and hosted a special show for his Fall/Winter 2012 collection with Kristi Yamaguchi’s Always Dream Foundation at Neiman Marcus Walnut Creek.

From the floral printed dresses to the must have fur collared coat, all in attendance started their pre-order lists.  A stunning sweeping silk skirt was treated to resemble paper and was paired with a chunky cozy cable knit sweater tank.  Perfect for a California wedding.  A signature pair of his wide-legged pants came embellished with sequins, once again reflecting his embodiment of easy luxury.

Derek Lam was kind enough to sit down for a few questions with HL about his current collection and this and that.

HL:  So what was your inspiration for the Fall/Winter 2012 collection?

DL:  I was inspired by the library.  How it is a cultural resource for us in today’s fast paced, technology driven society.  Some of the prints were inspired by bookbindings and rare book cover liners.

HL:   So are you a book man or a e-reader?

DL:  I do both!  An e-reader is so useful when traveling but nothing can replace the feel of a book and its pages.

HL:  What is your greatest indulgence or something you can’t live without?
DL:  Travel.  I love traveling.  I just came back from Bhutan and Burma.

HL:   Name 3 people, living, imaginary, deceased or what not that you would like to have a dinner party with?
DL:  3 people, that’s going to be quite intimate then.  I would love to have Coco Chanel, Isak Dinesen (author of Out of Africa), and Marilyn Monroe.

Coincidentally, Kristi Yamaguchi’s Always Dream Foundation has been focusing on literacy in schools as their current cause of action.  A perfect pairing:  literally chic.