3.1 Phillip Lim – Pre AUTUMN/WINTER 2015-16 READY-TO-WEAR

The time’s gone by in a flash, hasn’t it? 3.1 Phillip Lim turns 10 next year, and after a decade in business, Lim has decided it’s time for a think-through. What is 3.1 Phillip Lim? What is it to him? What is it to his customers? The answer Lim came to, ahead of designing his latest collection, was this: 3.1 Phillip Lim is about clothes. That seems obvious, but given the pressure on designers to be conceptual at a rate of four collections a year, the idea of refocusing on the pragmatic production of appealing goods that people like to wear is refreshing. And Lim’s clothes this season were both appealing and pragmatic. His sub-answer to the “What is 3.1 Phillip Lim?” question was, in essence, American sportswear with a global gloss, and with that in mind, he stuck to a few sturdy themes: suiting; sport-inspired separates; and unfussy frocks, skirts, and blouses with an off-kilter femininity. Eclectic elements, such as a vaguely Peruvian lace or the fringe edging various tropical-weight wool pieces, gave the looks that globe-trotting twist, while Lim’s hybrid garments, such as a natty peacoat with a layered, coated canvas lapel, underscored his emphasis on the functional. The best-looking pieces in this collection, though, found Lim exploring a feminine aesthetic, sculpting asymmetric ruffles that read as womanly rather than girly. A pair of wool cigarette pants in gray, with a tabard-style fringed wrap about the hips, had a similar sense of grown-up-ness. That seemed appropriate: After 10 years, 3.1 Phillip Lim has matured, and its clientele has, too.

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