An unseasonably warm Fashion Week is good news for the crowds waiting outside the tents, but not Derek Lam. “We were planning to do hot chocolate because everyone would be freezing,” he said, but he changed plans once the warmer weather set in. The Pellegrino everyone wound up toting backstage at the Tunnel just didn’t fit Lam’s relaxed vibe as well. And the fact that the designer’s shoes arrived only the night before the show couldn’t have helped his mood. Still, Lam got about nine hours of sleep and seemed to project a certain calm over the crowd at his show. Maybe it had something to do with Ina Garten’s Barefoot Contessa on the Food Network? “It’s so calm and relaxing, nice fattening food,” Lam told us. “Sure, she puts five quarts of cream in everything — but why not?!” Garten is about as much as he can handle on TV these days. He clicks past Project Runway (the pet project of former mentor/boss Michael Kors) since “watching people create fashion gives me a lot of anxiety because I know what they’re going through.” And you can bet Lam won’t be watching Top Chef either, what with all the Quickfire Challenges: “I need something calmer!” he exclaimed. Instead, he’s sticking to perfecting Garten’s roast-chicken recipe. “I made it twice. The first time was a success, but the second time not so much. I blame it on myself and not on Ina Garten.” —Jocelyn Guest
Browse a slideshow of the Derek Lam collection.