NEW YORK, United States — Phillip Lim is celebrating the 10th anniversary of 3.1 Phillip Lim, the brand he co-founded with Wen Zhou in 2005. Success has come fast and steady, so the designer has a lot to be proud of, having secured a unique position in the fashion system. He is an author and pushes aesthetic boundaries, yet he keeps the offer relatable and consumer-friendly.
Today's show came complete with a grandiose installation by artist Maya Lin: gigantic dunes of soil occupied the industrial emptiness of a pier on Manhattan's Westside. Volume, apropos, was pivotal to the collection, which featured Lim's trademark juxtaposition of contrasting elements. Flaps, for instance, ran along the closure of bomber jackets, while couture silks were cut into high-waist, oversized fatigues or paired with rough linens.
Lim certainly owns the super-sized look and knows how to handle it. Yet, something was not working to his advantage styling-wise. Layered into sculptural compositions, made even stiffer by the choice of firm fabrics, the looks had something contrived and frumpy about them, which actually concealed the value of the individual pieces. A tighter edit would have helped highlight Lim's unique ability to create fashion that is image-friendly while also practical.
In this era of Instagram everything, it is quite an accomplishment.