Phillip Lim has plans to return to the runway in September. Though he’s gotten used to low-key fashion weeks in the four years that he’s been showing informally, he’s itching to be part of the action again. In preparation, he called this resort collection a “palate cleanser,” but one that’s based on a concept that’s foundational to the 3.1 brand—uniforms.
Not school uniforms or sport uniforms, but art gallerist uniforms. Real-life clothes with high-fashion vibes are Lim’s specialty. Shopping his Great Jones Street store is satisfying because his pieces have the look of now, but without the extra zero on the price tags that you find at higher-end brands.
He actually dresses art gallerists, and he’s picked up on a few things: the way they might modify a thrifted jean jacket a couple of sizes too large, how they layer a midi skirt over a pair of trousers that pool at the ankle, their preference for a vintage T-shirt. All of those ideas played out here. His oversize jean jacket is cinched at the back, creating a voluminous blouson shape, and he added a band of lace to a tee declaring “There is only one New York.” For exhibition openings, maybe, there’s a new take on his go-to pouf-sleeved, midi-length dress—a silhouette his fit model has declared the PMA, for “pretty, modern, and appropriate—and, yes, he styled it with long flared pants.
But more so than uniforms, New York was Lim’s subject, as it has been for the last few seasons. One sweet example of his affection for the place was a series of pieces in washed black silk appliqued here and there with photo cut-outs of the waxy anthurium flowers sold all over the city at bodegas.