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Armani Conquers China, Chastises the Pope June 01st, 2012 @ 11:53 AM



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3.1 Phillip Lim: Department Store Dream

Godfrey Deeny
September 16th, 2010 @ 00:04 AM - New York

One of the big design hits of the past half-decade in America fashion has been Phillip Lim, an inventive designer whose business success has been largely built on his talents as a self-editor.

That self of restraint, whether in the plausible silhouettes or reined in use of arty references, was rarely more apparent than in the spring 2011 collection Lim presented Wednesday, Sept. 15, in New York.

Lim’s clothes are quirky and stylish yet a tad prudish, poised yet with a smidgen of social stiffness. He is in many ways a buyer's dream, blessed with a clear signature style, an innate sense of silhouette and little-pain-at-the-cash-register price point.

This season, his best ideas were often his simplest – hyper elegant jacquard pants suits with handkerchiefs in the breast pocket worn with shaggy suede boots, or semi-sheer organza trench coats that had pep but also authority.

Tunic dresses in Art Deco graphics, sleeveless raincoats made almost like cocktail dresses or mini suede mess jackets cut with scallop hems all looked great, the sort of designer ideas that excite women consumers and don’t confuse them.

After a week of party girl, seventies disco revival in New York, it was also pleasant to see a collection where the women looked like they held down successful careers.

Staged in the Park Avenue Armory, the catwalk had hyper large pieces of white furniture detailing strewn across the giant barn like space, complimenting the smart structuralism of the collection.

However, Lim’s very commercial savvy meant the collection never really soared. There were oodles of great merchandise but not enough real fashion magic. So, after his great modern dandy men’s show last week, today’s display by Lim felt something of a slight come down.

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