It’s been a week filled with striking color and super-sporty references. Vivid purples, blues, and yellows abound, and if a dress doesn’t have a drawstring, it has a hood or a racing stripe down the side. Phillip Lim’s casually cool collection was colorful and sporty, too, but in a much gentler fashion in both regards. His lavenders, pinks, and pistachios felt more like hugs than high-fives, and the athleticism present in his outerwear, shorts and, dresses, stemmed from kite-flying—not exactly the stuff of steroids.
Lim used to make his own kites as a kid growing up in Orange County, California, so he’s aware of the necessary balance between airy fabric and tension or weight. He showed simple racerback tanks, cropped flowing pants, and culotte shorts in lightweight silk and chiffon, often cutting pieces geometrically to mimic kite strings. The heaviness came from cropped, woven cotton jackets, with round sleeves and minimalist flat sandals that, by definition, were very grounded, and it all together made for an easy uniform.
At times the collection felt a little too basic, like the navy pants paired with a navy angular tank. Wearable, yes, but it’s not necessarily enough to stand out in New York’s highly competitive environment. Until, that is, you learn that said tank also convert into practical, decent-looking bags and totes via some well-hidden snaps and zippers. Now, before discounting this as an “It slices, it dices” moment, know that during a demonstration in his studio earlier in the week, Lim made the duality both desirable and delightfully innovative, just the kind of thing that could differentiate him from his peers in his price-level—if only he would have shown it off.