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Derek Lam: Picked Over, but Gems Remain for Now

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Man, the ladies who hit the Derek Lam sale at opening must have worked lightening fast. The sale is offering both heavily discounted current season overstock and a fair amount of past season samples (surprise!). By the time we arrived during the lunchtime shopping hour, the $150-and-under sample racks were looking a bit spotty, but we clung onto our hopes for some gems hidden in fray and we were not disappointed.

The sample racks are along the wall at the back of the sale. Pricing runs $25 for knits and jersey, $50 for skirts and blouses, $75 for dresses, $100 for coats and jackets (very sparse), and $150 for the two remaining leather pieces (wait, make that one—a lady snatched up a suede mini-bustier-dress right out from under us) and gowns. We would say that the majority of the items are there for a reason, but the dresses and gowns hold the best options. You just have to dig and also look past the easily-remedied wrinklage.

This is what we unearthed: A couple of the mustard-hued silk vest frocks; a strapless, pouf-skirted LBD; a gorgeous strapless creme gown; a flirty lipstick red ruffles and belted (but slightly stiff) linen number; a cornflower blue pleated-detail maxi-dress; and a luscious ochre-hued one-shoulder evening gown ($150!!). Look very carefully as some pieces have tears, missing buttons, broken zippers, or marks. One otherwise gorgeous golden maize pleated and ruffled cocktail dress featured absolutely tragic pen marks on the bodice. Also if you shift the remaining hanging items too far in either direction, you'll expose some ladies—in various stages of undress—changing between the racks and the wall. Oopsies.

Last word on samples: If you're shoe size 39 and up, check out the sample shoe bins featuring current season heels for $75 (we saw a tall lady walk off with a pair of khaki cut-out booties) and past season heels and flats for just $50. We saw a few of the bold flatform Mary Janes, too.

As for the overstock items, there's a pretty big price jump, but at least you know there won't be scribbles or deodorant stains on the frocks. Pricing ranges from $125 for shorts to $1050 for evening gown. The full price lists are in the photo gallery, but at the $300-ish mark, we spotted the floral watercolor burnout gown ($1690 on Net-a-Porter) and the white, pleated and python detailed plisse frock ($1490 at Barneys) Also, the overstock dresses and gowns seem to be price-listed in code. So, if you're confused, we suggest asking the very nice and helpful blonde staffer holding court behind the cash wrap.

As for the overstock shoes, they run $175 for flats, $225 for wedges, $250 for heels and $325 for booties. Pricier than the samples, but at least there's a chance that they might have your size. There were a few bags priced between $250 and $350, too.

If you haven't guessed already, there are no official dressing rooms, so make yourself at home between the sample racks and the wall (while the samples last, that is). Cash and credit are both accepted and they're not restocking. Final disclaimer: The best samples were disappearing right in front of our eyes earlier, so we can't promise what's left by the time you read this.
· Dealfeed: Derek Lam [Racked NY]
· Derek Lam [Official Site]