Phillip Lim presented his resort in his Great Jones Street store. It was the first time he showed his clothes in person since February of last year; after 16 months of Zooms it was a move evocative of the collection’s mood. “Hope, manifesting from a moment of darkness,” he riffed, “resilient femininity.”
Lim made smart moves during the pandemic. He added a capsule collection of comfortable essentials—think plenty of elasticated waists—and in his main collection, he put an emphasis on functionality; his fall outing, which is in the stores now, is a mix of easy-wearing, yet polished knits and tailoring in bold proportions and hardy fabrics.
Here, he went a little softer. A suit jacket, for instance, was cut with a built-in bralette to show off the midriff. But he didn’t let go of the utility factor entirely. When unbuttoned, the bralette folds neatly away at the sides, revealing a more traditional shawl collared jacket. A zip-front scuba dress was designed with similar ingenuity; its shrug-like knit sleeves also unbutton and can be worn wrapped around the neck. There was a lot of draping and layering, and drawstrings were a recurrent detail; used on technical poplin, they lent his silhouettes generous, round volumes.
Meanwhile, duchesse silk separates implanted with three-dimensional rosettes and crystal embellishments were a reinterpretation of a key dress from Lim’s first-ever runway show for spring 2007. As strategic as he is—and he had to be to survive the pandemic—he knows the role of sentiment. It’s a starting-over season. The parallelism of the two looks read to this writer, who was there 15 years ago, like a salute to experience and, yes, like a gesture of optimism and hope.