As Phillip Lim touched down in London to open his new pop-up store in Selfridges’ Designers Gallery, Grazia Daily took the time to quiz the king of street elegance on his favourite red carpet A-Listers and how he’d dress the Queen...
Grazia: Cannes is delivering some spectacular gowns this week, if you could dress any star for a red carpet number who would it be, if it could be past or present?
Phillip Lim: I’d say I love to dress anyone who is really authentic in their style. You can tell when someone really loves what they are wearing or when they have just been put in something. Alexa Chung for example is totally authentic in the way she dresses. We are friends away from fashion, and when I see her off camera she’s the same - she’s like nerdy and a tomboy. I love it that she can curse like a sailor but at the same time she so beautiful and charming and elegant - that is so inspiring because she’s so normal.
In fact I think normality might be the new edge - as it’s so shocking when people are so normal. These days it’s so easy to be shocking so it’s refreshing when you meet someone like Alexa. Kristen Stewart is another cool girl, she just does what she does, she’s a great actress, and always herself on the red carpet - that’s what I find inspiring. Women are inspiring to me - totally the stronger sex. Period!
Kate Middleton and Prince William at 'Our Greatest Team Rises' event earlier this month
Grazia: We're all excited about the Jubilee this year in the UK. What would you dress Queen and Duchess of Cambridge in?
PL-Anything that keeps on making them feel and look majestic - they have to be themselves. When you see images of the Queen she’s so stylish in the fact that she knows who she is. It’s always the same thing in a different colour, she’s definitely a colour fan! But then as they say if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. Kate Middleton is gorgeous - that killer body, it's like a body of death! So I think it would be easy to dress her. She’s so elegant; she carries herself in a way that goes beyond clothing.
Grazia- What would your tip be for up-and-coming designers?
PL- Dream, but keep your feet firmly planted in reality. Design isn’t just about design, it’s about the whole process. I also think that any type of creation is a form of communication. So make sure you finish what you want to say.
Grazia- What would be your plan B job?
PL- I’d be a gardener, on the beach or somewhere tropical. Maybe I would go and farm seaweed! Ive recently really got into gardening. I have a tiny Charlie Brown garden in New York - well it’s more like a converted fire escape – it’s pretty desperate it’s so small. But ‘Ive created a little haven in the sky, it’s really one of my favourite places - everyone in New York craves that outdoor space and now I’ve got a little place all to myself.
Grazia- In terms of social media do you Tweet, Facebook, Instagram? Are you super connected?
PL- I am the biggest technophobe, I don’t even do Photoshop. My idea of Photoshop is ripping something with my hands or scissors, taping, using a hot glue gun and the photocopy machine. I don’t Tweet, I don’t have Facebook, I barely return emails. I don’t even like the phone - I prefer one-on- one. I think all the new mediums can be very misleading - there’s so much more to communication than what you read. Someone could say yes to you, but in their eyes you can see they really mean no. You can’t read that on a tweet.
Grazia: Are there any trends that you’re scared of?
PL-No, I don’t live my life scared, I deal with it. What are you going to do otherwise, cry? Just pour me a drink and I’ll get over it!