16 September 2010

NYFW S/S '11 report: 3.1 Phillip Lim

Phillip Lim has been a name on the New York fashion scene for years now. I have always liked his collections, but to be honest, if put on the spot I wouldn't be able to tell you any details, trends or themes from any of his past collections. I doubt this will be the case with his S/S '11 collection, because it was strong and will become a reference point for his work past, and that to come. Lim worked with intricate layers to make us question the proportions of his pieces, and wonder if it was a dress we were looking at or a skirt and top, or a skirt, top, vest and tabard. If that sounds complicated, I'm sure the design process is, but the result was just beautiful. Aprons in camel leather enveloped simple jersey pieces. A simple cardigan from the front disappeared at the back to become a sheer panel. Even a black leather lattice T-shirt became simple silk when the model turned around. But not everything was complicated. Stunning tailoring looked modern rather than straight. An embroidered trench coat piped in black was red-carpet-ready, and my personal favourite - a navy, black and gold trenchcoat-dress was soft, severe and sexy; although it screamed for shoes more ladylike than the wooden black heels it was shown with (even if they did justice to many other looks). Occasionally the collection became slightly referential, sailing close to both Christopher Kane and Alexander Wang, but they were all refined with the Lim sense of luxe. The only big disappointment was that for a collection so detailed and focused on layers, it would have been better shown in a more intimate space, rather than the vast Armory venue where the audience were leaning forward to get a better look at the clothes.

- Kay Barron in New York


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