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New York Fashion Week: Derek Lam on the cutting edge

February 18, 2011 | 11:08 am

Dlmain

Although he's certainly a fashion insider favorite, Derek Lam couldn't pass up an opportunity to work on a project that would bring him to a wider audience. So he's teamed up with EBay on a collection of 16 dresses, including a crisp denim shirtdress with a peplum in back (would be a summer staple for me), a dahlia-colored long cotton sundress, and a black cotton full-length gown. I also liked the white floor-length shirtdress with a peplum back. Can you imagine how many ways you could accessorize that?

Shoppers can vote on their favorites at dereklam.ebay.com, and the five winning styles (announced March 1) will be available to purchase on EBay in May. The price range is $125 to $295.

Although everyone is interested in the outcome of this experiment in crowd-sourced design, the resounding call from editors who saw the dresses was that EBay should produce them all.

Meanwhile, Lam's runway collection was a study in new fabric development, in response to the rising cost of cotton and other raw materials. He used silk woven with nylon, for example, and viscose with twill. And he wasn't the only one. There were a lot of these new fabrics in the collections in New York. Designers insist they are not cheap imitations, but the way of the future.

Dlmain

Lam's utilitarian styles still managed to look rich, and were lighter somehow, starting with the salt 'n' pepper-flannel and rayon drawstring twill skirt that opened the show, and the red stretch wool sleeveless coat (what a great option for warmer climes) with horn toggle closures.

Dlmain2

An olive colored, blanket stripe cape coat was very on-trend, as was a silk crepe tuxedo jumpsuit, which was far more interesting than the gowns.

-- Booth Moore in New York

Top dress photos: Looks from the Derek Lam for Ebay collection. Credit: Derek Lam.

Middle and bottom photos: Looks from the Derek Lam fall-winter 2011 runway collection shown during New York Fashion Week. Credit: Jonas Gustavsson and Peter Stigter / For The Times.

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