Derek Lam hits a home-run on eBay and fashions a fabulous eve at gala preview party for San Francisco Fall Antiques Show

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Derek Lam hits home runs.

The star designer, who was honorary chair at last night’s Preview Party for the San Francisco Fall Antiques Show, is coming off a trifecta of a much lauded Spring/Summer 2011 show, a new boutique opening in Manhattan–he already has a flagship store there, and release of plans to create a new eBay collection where shoppers can choose what designs he’ll make into garments.

Clearly, this is a man who is at the top of his game.

On a night when San Francisco Giants were playing Game 1 of the World Series, San Francisco-born Lam’s expanding even more on to the world stage. He’s just returned from judging China’s version of Project Runway–Creative Sky–which “reaches an audience of 20 million people.” There are plans for more Derek Lam stores–Lam says he wants to “speak directly” to his customers, and for a diffusion line–for a lower priced “masstige” line, perhaps in collaboration with mass retailer like the UK’s Topshop.

“Crowd-sourcing,” harnessing the power of the web to bring customers into the production process–inviting buyers to vote for designs they like that he would then produce for his Fall/Winter 2011 eBay collection–could change the face of retailing.

He’s clearly resonating with what Americans want now–the return to naturalness and simplicity.

For Spring/Summer 2011, Lam brought forth a consummate collection that engaged the senses. It featured easy, floaty dresses that seemed light as air, washed blue denim in iterations from an A-line skirt to tunics, trenches and flared pants. It was classic Lam–spare, chic and elegant–Americana–and it fit the times. So too are his wood-block platform sandals that are sure to be a hit–from Tiburon to Topanga Canyon.

At the party, Lam flashed his trademark shy grin and was warm and engaging, chatting with attendees for several hours.

Someone referred to Lam as “a man of our time.”

Looking ahead. Quietly confident. Making a home run.

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