In a surprising move, Derek Lam announced last year that he would release a capsule collection exclusively through online auction power house eBay. Even more shocking was the revelation that the collection would be a complete collaboration between the consumers and the designer. The whole line with sixteen “candidate” designs debuted early this year on a dedicated eBay page, and would-be consumers would vote for their favorites. The top five designs would be released for purchase on eBay on May 10.
Furthering the democratization high fashion, Lam wanted to engage his audience and broaden the discussion of style and progression of his designs from art and historical inspiration to production. Each piece released will be accompanied by a video by Lam explaining his references and any narrative behind the design. This open source approach is the most innovative and left field method of disseminating high fashion to the consumer. Lam wanted the collection to be a direct discourse with the customers, as well as a way to break new ground for releasing wallet-friendly high design in a different, unique way.
Lam is not necessarily the first designer to embrace the growing influence of social media and the Web. However, he is the first to utilize this power to create a collection chosen by the end user. And it also happens to be more wallet friendly than his regular collections!
The range has flirty frocks and gorgeous long, flowing gowns. But in the promotional photos, Lam styled the playful frocks and elegant maxis with straw-soled patent flatforms. To debut such a beautiful collection, but pair them with something that reminds many of “duck feet syndrome”, to my mind only detracts from the overall refinement and polish.
I really do have to wonder if there is a huge inside joke amongst the designer and high fashion industry subset that we, the consuming public at large, aren’t in on. (I.e., Jeffrey Campbell Litas, their subsequent iterations, and flatforms.)
In spite of the detour of the shoes, the entire collection has a lovely, sophisticated feel to it. Priced at between $125-$295, that’s nothing to turn your nose up at (or your foot).
You can snag a dress of your very own May 10 on Derek Lam x eBay’s dedicated page.
Image credit: Photos 1 & 2, The Glamorai; photos 3, Style.com; 4 & 5, Google Image Search. If any of these images are yours, please let me know and I can credit back with a link to your site.
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