’60s Mod and Collegiate Style at Derek Lam for Fall

For fall, Derek Lam returned to a more disciplined, ladylike look with a collection inspired by classic '60s style.

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Looks from Derek Lam's Fall 2012 collection.
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After his past two seasons (both of which proved major editorial favorites), Derek Lam has been riding a wave commercial success, launching his first diffusion line, 10 Crosby by Derek Lam, as well as an affordable collection for e-commerce giant, eBay.
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While his recent spring and resort lines explored California-girl cool (a look that comes naturally to the SoCal native), Lam returned to a more disciplined, ladylike look for fall with a collection inspired by '60s mod style and classically collegiate looks.
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Mod-era design nods were particularly noticeable in shirting and blouses, many of which featured modest smock-collars and long, lantern sleeves.
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Of course, Lam managed to give the retro vibe a modern kind of flair, executing simply-cut pieces like this cap-sleeve dress in butter-soft leather, or adding bright prints to more conservative ensembles.
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Catherine Blair Pfander
Beehives may have been trending on the runway last season, but Lam's teased and tucked-under up 'dos drove home the '60s school girl look without crossing over into old-fashioned territory.
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Lam also offered up a few expert print combinations, perhaps most memorably with this black-and-white lace print dress finished with a contrasting red collar.
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Conservative yet playful looks like this shimmery, metallic tweed dress were easy to imagine on Michelle Obama, a longtime Lam devotee.
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All-leather looks have cropped up on a number of Fall '12 runways this fashion week, but Lam's girly rose-bud print gave the look an appealing sweetness.
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Lam also explored the sleeker, more futuristic side of "mod" in pared-down white dresses and shifts.
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Outerwear options -- generally a strong focus of Lam's collections -- were noticeably scarcer this season, though a perfect tweedy black-and-white coat with a contrasting shawl was a particular standout.
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Unexpected combinations like this cable-knit cream vest and floaty white maxi skirt are what continue to give Lam street cred with a younger, downtown-y audience in addition to uptown editors.
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The mustard yellow version of the same vest makes easier to discern intricate details (notice the mirror-like repeating pattern).
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Least appealing, perhaps, were Lam's shrunken-style suits, which -- though '60s-appropriate, to be sure -- felt a tad old-fashioned.
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Thin heels also appear to be making a comeback for fall after a year of chunky block heels. Here, Lam's taupe-gray kicks with contrasting black cap toes and a sassy ankle strap.
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We were also keen on Lam's practical black leather brogues with shiny gold cap-toes (which will be perfect piggie-savers when it comes to scurrying between shows next September).
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