Runway Review | 3.1 Phillip Lim Spring 2015:
Phillip Lim is a designer who connects with consumers. That much is clear—he's got a booming business worldwide, and the latest sign of his commercial success is the new flagship store he's opening tomorrow night on Great Jones Street in New York City. Lim's niche, so far as it can be defined, is clothing that's dead on-trend and urbane yet punchy, as opposed to moody. Beyond that, though, it's been hard to locate a Phillip Lim signature—a design language that he uniquely owns. In recent seasons, Lim has seemed to be pushing to create such a signature by playing around with organic forms, giving a sculptural aspect to otherwise straightforwardly hip clothes. The approach has reaped him mixed rewards, but this season it worked. It probably helped that Lim was working from inspiration close to home: Indeed, his inspiration was his home, which he's been renovating, as he explained after today's show. What with all the construction, Lim's home life has been confined to his bedroom, which got him focused on the elements of that most intimate space. Hence the focus here on textures that mimicked the quilting of mattress pads or patterns of matelassé, and garments inspired by loungewear such as robes, lingerie tap shorts, and negligees. The undulating hems and sinuous oversize piping, meanwhile, were a nod to the body, curled up in bed. All of this abstraction of the boudoir was nicely domesticated, as it were, into approachable cool-girl looks, the best of which were the seemingly simplest, like a sheet-white blouse with an off-center neckline, patterned to wink a good bit of skin on one side of the waist. Lim's robe-tied tops and tunics were likewise direct and appealing; ditto the slouchy semi-sheer trousers embroidered in a cane motif. Elsewhere, the designer's more ambitious woven organza cocktail dresses came off as likably unconventional, if just shy of mannered. In general, you sensed Lim slipping into a comfortable groove with this collection, his formal play becoming less labored and more natural. In a little while, people might even start to think of that as his "thing."
Shop current 3.1 Phillip Lim products at: Marissa Collections