The offbeat writings of William Burroughs, along with earlier Dadaists, and the scatterbrain tunes of seventies musicians are unlikely inspirations for a clothing collection, but 3.1 Phillip Lim is the kind of designer who absorbs every bit of the (art) world around him, and somehow applies it to easily wearable garments. This season, he looked to the “cut-up” technique for a muse, manipulating and re-assembling his own garments for a “push and pull tension between street and polish.”
The mission was effortlessly accomplished, and with it Lim provides a head-to-toe wardrobe for the It-girl (except real It-girls cringe at the moniker, so don’t call her that!). When they are executed with this much attitude (coveralls, anyone?), florals don’t feel quite so…floral. Think edgy, never sweet. Scarf-like effects were pieced together with fluidity; patchwork pants look relaxed, rather than forcefully collaged; see-through plaids bring a sense of sass to the preppy print; and boxy lace inserts add original 90210-era edge, and so does the effect of knotted flannels around slim-fitting skirts.
Lim also reminds us not to take anything too seriously. Hot items like raspberry nubuck overalls and early-90s-style screen-printed muscle tees keep the mood extra light and irreverent. There’s a brilliant sense of irony going on here, and if you’re not in on Lim’s joke, well, then you’re missing out. Cutouts may have laid the foundation, but to me, this collection is a kind of homage to the sexy, cool high-school girl we all wanted to be. Only she could get away with a glossy, textured leather crop-top and low-slung mini! Other standouts are naturally the ultimate bad-girl staple: the motorocycle jacket. From foil-leather and trompe l’oeil layered to floral corded silk, Lim shows us it’s so good to be bad.