Friday, October 9, 2009
Photo by Marcio Madeira
3.1 Phillip Lim
By Meenal Mistry
"Everyone says to back off aesthetically," said Phillip Lim, days before his show. "But that's not what's selling." Clearly, that counseling script should be flipped, and "everyone" should instead be heeding Lim, he of the stellar sell-throughs. The designer said he had been thinking about recasting basics, and working on a kind of primitive collage concept inspired by a visit to the Picasso: Mosqueteros show at the Gagosian. But unlike Fall's collection, with its bohemian rock-chick vibe, Spring wasn't about an overarching theme or look: It was about giving them a reason to shop, and, as such, there were many arguments here for a girl to unfreeze her AmEx.
Lim set the stage with a jaggedly geometric red runway and opened with a lipstick-red suit. You might have mistaken it for a jumpsuit, but that's because the jacket was unlined and light enough to be tucked in. Lim called it "the new suit." It's machine-washable. The new dress, meanwhile, is a swingy, heart- and purse-string-pulling collage with panels of knife pleats, leather, and sequins, arranged in various compositions—perhaps a few too many. An iridescent sequined top and shorts will also send the Lim-ings off a shopping cliff. There was yet more specialness in a basic navy knit spiffed up with a croc jacquard, or the miss-it-from-the-second-row subtle lizard pattern on a blush trench—the result of the designer's recent reptile obsession. In short, this was a collection to sell, sell, sell, no matter what the prevailing wisdom.