Season in and season out, Derek Lam refines his tony take on all-American sportswear. He dedicated his terrific show today to a group of ladies he called his “New York heroines,” actresses Diane Keaton, Mia Farrow, Dianne Wiest, and Katharine Hepburn. “I love their patrician, urban, tweedy sensibility,” he said backstage. Meryl Streep didn’t make the cut but she could have. Conjure an image of her in Kramer vs. Kramer, standing solitary and elegant in Central Park in her long, belted trench, and you’ve got Lam’s new Fall collection.

Trenches are a good place to start. Lam has made a specialty of them over his 10-year career. He imbued today’s with newness by adding a hood and a generous stand-up collar, say, or by whipping them up in double-face, with a contrast color on the interior. The peacoat got a refresh, too, cut with a swingy A-line shape in deep, rich shades of leather-trimmed haircalf. An emerald green version was a real beauty. There were nods to the ’70s heyday of Keaton and co.—the flared pantsuits shown with ribbed turtlenecks; a V-neck sweater with suede detailing. But for the most part, the pieces struck you as less self-consciously retro than some of what he was doing for Spring and more in sync with the way the current fashion winds are blowing. Lam has long been a go-to resource for pants, and this season, in addition to his familiar floor-scraping flares (don’t miss Binx Walton’s multicolored tuxedo-track pant hybrid), he’s getting behind a fluid, loose-fitting culotte style with a deep, six-inch contrast hem. We expect to see a lot more of that shape on the runways this month and on the street come fall.

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