Designers have been plundering the looks of decades past for a while now; you can even predict when the next wave of sixties mod or fifties wasp waists will wash ashore. A seventies revival was due, and Phillip Lim is one of the designers bringing it about this season. The take at 3.1 Phillip Lim had an intriguing looseness—Lim didn”t hew to any one particular reference. Instead, he drew on a mishmash of seventies-esque motifs, and gave them a twist and an update. There was something honest about that method, as though Lim had plucked at loose strands of memory. Take the wave-like hemlines here, magnified versions of that Brady Bunch-tastic rickrack trim.
Or consider the flourish of brown suede, the nods to shell suits, or the short A-line skirts and plunge-collar dresses redolent of Jane Fonda looks in Klute. There was also a strong influence from YSL”s Safari collection, a reference Lim used in a particularly interesting (and sales-friendly) way. Sand-toned pieces such as a lean belted coat and wide-leg trousers were done in a technical material with a linen-like feel; these pieces conjured the seventies vibe nicely, but they had a very modern weight and structure. The same was true of Lim”s jacquards, done in a digitized, magnified snake print.
The best thing about this collection, though, was that Lim was working close to the body—the only exceptions, really, being the A-line shifts, the least successful pieces here. A trim pair of trousers with a touch of flare, a flat leather jacket in yellow, a little ruffle-hem minidress in that linen-like technical fabric—these looks, and others, found Lim moving on from his recent obsession with oversizing. How funny that sometimes in order to move forward, you have to look back.
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