“The big story here is I’m shifting the collection into more of a seasonless vibe,” Phillip Lim noted during the look book shoot, adding: “This is a continual evolution of a wardrobe for her — adding pieces that are recognizable, that we revisit, to make it familiar but new.” He set a goal to address the needs of a global citizen with a hallmark of easy, cool, chic design inherent to the brand ethos.
He built the collection on three main pillars: utility, sustainability and a play on gender codes.
Utilitarian referencing lies at the heart of the brand’s DNA. “It’s workwear. Who we dress is people who work,” Lim said plainly. Creative types will appreciate his soft, feminine take, including a jumpsuit-like set featuring a jacket with exaggerated shoulders and trousers with a playful built-in skirt in back that snaps open. Detachable elements were found elsewhere on tunics and coats, including removable collars that became chic bandanas.
Beginning last season, the designer has made a conscious effort to be more sustainable. “Our thing is sustainable balance to offset what we do. Small actions, small gestures that offset the footprint.” You’d never know a posh denim skirt suit was made of 100 percent recycled denim from a Guatemalan mill that reweaves discarded scraps, or that the windowpane fabric of a classic coat was made partly from recycled water bottles. Accessories, too, like the Alix bag with paperclip hardware, featured chrome-free leather two years in the making. “I speak about the wardrobe, but I also speak about the woman in her effort to rebalance purpose and footprint and thought process and intention.”
Lim spoke also to gender codes in nuanced ways. He played with masculine-feminine elements in singular looks (pairing leather with a ladylike dress whose print was a far derivative of a Warhol piece), and maintained gender ambiguous undertones through loosely cut trousers, crombie-style coats, and even the diaphanous warped print top made of wrinkled organza and fil coupe.