In a city of conservative glamour, Phillip Lim remains a bastion of coolness. This season’s line of layered, racer inspired looks combined downtown appeal with high gloss finish. And while the tail end of the collection read slightly too literally (think fabric badges stitched on to denim and leather), there was little that the style crowd – many of whom were sporting Lim’s Nuevo York S/S 2013 tees - wouldn’t kill to wear.
Let’s start with the motorcycle jackets. For a collection inspired by racers, you’d imagine leathers would feature heavily. But it would be hard to conceive of Lim’s peplumed cuts and colour splicing, which so effectively re-invented the wheel. The grunge-ness of last season’s outing also remained this time around with plaids and oversized volumes featuring – check out the mega jigsaw furs - but there was also a cleaner vision with proportions kept under control.
Mini skirts and shorts combined with tall boots and bare legs have been a strong theme already for A/W 2013-14 here in NYC and Lim did a good job of convincing us that his were the ones to snap up come September. Wader style over-the-knees teamed with buttery soft leather minis or silk embossed shorts were instant hits. Also immediately covetable were Lim’s heavy teal overcoats, embossed leather sweaters and coated metallic knits.
But it’s the styling that really seals the deal at Lim’s shows, and this season was no different. Basically if you think you’re wearing enough clothes, in Lim’s book you probably aren’t. Starting with a shirt, adding a knit and a waistcoat then finishing with a coat and his bold boots you would never label the Lim look simple. But it’s the unusual palettes – say salmon, tan, powder blue and black – unexpected fabric combos – plaids, stripes, fur and leather – and surprising accessories – the waders teamed with full on diamante necklaces and Indian style chandelier earrings - that make the man such a maverick.