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[FASHION] Phillip Lim Makes a Statement in White

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  • madchinaman
    Phillip Lim makes a statement in white Among several knockout lines from up-and-comers, at least one star emerges. By Booth Moore, Times Staff Writer
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 15, 2006
      Phillip Lim makes a statement in white
      Among several knockout lines from up-and-comers, at least one star
      By Booth Moore, Times Staff Writer

      NEW YORK — As the fashion flock started its annual rush around the
      city for the spring shows on Friday, around every corner there was
      another reminder — street vendors in Times Square peddling crystal
      figurines of the Twin Towers; a wire fence decorated with
      commemorative tiles in an empty lot in Greenwich Village; hundreds
      of New York City firefighters in their dress blues on Fifth Avenue,
      waiting to go into St. Patrick's Cathedral for a memorial service.
      The organ music was so loud, tourists stopped to listen out on the
      street, and to buy hot dogs from the umbrella carts.

      Even as the fifth anniversary of 9/11 loomed in the background, the
      city felt more alive than ever. Hotels were booked, new buildings
      were going up and the U.S. Open was being played out in Flushing
      Meadows. There were festivals and parades on every side of
      Manhattan. And of course, there were the fashion shows.

      The first weekend is the time to see up-and-comers and on Sunday, a
      star was born: Phillip Lim, a native of Los Angeles, whose nearly
      all-white collection was thoroughly modern and above all wearable.
      In a world saturated with celebrities and socialites, he addressed
      the new VIPs — everyday women — with thoughtful, easy pieces that
      sell for less than $1,000. He put a new spin on fall's spare
      minimalism, marrying it with the romantic trend emerging for spring.
      And his technique, the rigorous pleating and sculpting, brought all
      that is great about couture together with the accessibility of ready-

      The first knockout look was a simple white T-shirt dress decorated
      all over with hand-sculpted white rosettes. What a brilliant idea,
      to take everyone's favorite white T-shirt and turn it into something
      so chic. A white coat had the same hand-sculpted rosettes as
      closures, and by executing it in bleached burlap, which has a nice
      heft and texture to it, he kept it from being too sweet.

      The 33-year-old designer debuted his 3.1 Phillip Lim collection in
      the fall of 2005, and it already sells in L.A. at Barneys New York,
      Fred Segal, Traffic and Satine. But the buzz about Lim is just now
      reaching a crescendo. This was his first proper runway show and the
      introduction of his menswear. He studied finance at Cal State Long
      Beach, switching majors midway through to study fashion. Lim started
      working with Katyone Adeli, then spent four years at the helm of
      L.A.-based contemporary label Development. In 2005, he moved to New
      York to launch his namesake business.

      Two of spring's emerging shapes are the high-waist paper-bag skirt
      and the jumper, and Lim offered great renditions of both — the skirt
      with a pair of rosettes at the waist and the jumper in white lace
      with camp pockets in front, worn over a watercolor floral cotton
      voile shirt.

      The flower theme unfolded on a stunning short-sleeve shift dress
      with a rounded collar and layered chiffon bib. On the back, chiffon
      petals floated gently around the shoulders. A cream crepe de Chine
      blouse with full, pleated opera sleeves should please those who
      don't like to go sleeveless, paired with high-waist double-faced
      cotton trousers. And a cocoon dress in white silk chiffon with two
      sheer straps gathered into a rosette between the shoulders was
      pretty enough for a beach wedding.

      It made the flower-inspired collection from Thakoon Panichgul —
      another talked-about newcomer — all but wilt. Puffy petalsleeved
      blouses, layered tulip skirts and peony print dresses with appliquéd
      blossoms felt overdone and precious.


      Practicing a signature

      The weekend's other standout up-and-comer was Jenni Kayne. The L.A.
      designer, whose fall outing was a little wobbly, proved her staying
      power with a tight group of sportswear to take a woman on vacation
      from dawn to dusk. Mischa Barton and Lake Bell showed up to cheer
      Kayne on as she continued to develop the kind of signatures that
      luxury brands are built on — sumptuous knitwear, such as a long silk
      rib cardigan in a cool shade of coral worn over a poppy print
      bikini; and leathers, in kangaroo for spring.

      Kayne is deft at creating interesting color combinations — a saffron
      silk tank top with a mustard cotton short, a chocolate cashmere
      corset cardigan and a teal leather trench coat. And her cropped
      black motorcycle jacket, in the most papery fine leather, is a must-
      have for the season, worn over an easy purple chiffon bubble dress.
      A long black-on-nude lace gown was boho Malibu, worn with a purple
      floppy hat, as was a chocolate silk pleated dress with Kayne's
      favorite latticework at the top. And the goddess gowns that closed
      the show, in tiered navy chiffon or a mustard poppy print, were
      elegantly casual.

      Jovovich-Hawk, another L.A. label, designed by model-actress Milla
      Jovovich and her pal, former model Carmen Hawk, also made a strong
      showing with long sundresses that evoked the French seaside, one in
      a black-and-white stripe with embroidered ruffles at the hem,
      another in a delicate floral with purple insets at the sides.

      There were also some great separates, such as a delicately
      crocheted, white bow-tied jacket worn over a slip dress with
      whimsical white crocheted knee socks, and some very Sassoon high-
      waist jeans with a braided silk rope for a belt. But somebody get
      these girls a financial backer fast: The hothouse of a walk-through,
      packed with sweat-soaked people and one door in and out, was a

      Alice Roi, like Lim, worked in a thousand shades of white
      including "blond," except with a more subversive twist inspired by
      the film "La Petite Voleuse" ("The Little Thief"). In the 1988 film,
      Charlotte Gainsbourg plays a 16-year-old in post-World War II France
      who steals things as a form of escapism.

      So naturally, there was an air of teen angst to rolled-out-of-bed
      pajama tops paired with geeky skin-tight white pants, and a white
      leather motorcycle jacket with a coin purse sewn onto the front.
      Double belt thigh-high miniskirts and zip-front jumpers in heavy
      cotton were reminiscent of Courrèges. But there were plenty of more
      romantic, 1960s-era baby doll dresses too, with layered and frayed
      cap sleeves, the kind of dresses all the editors are already wearing
      now, making the front row resemble a maternity ward.

      The dress is always at the heart of Diane Von Furstenberg's
      collection, which this season was a romp through the Garden of Eden
      titled "All About Eve." There were a number of terrific pieces —
      jersey coat dresses in taxicab yellow or Kelly green, a silk jersey
      wrap dress in a bold print with a serpent wrapped around it, a
      bumblebee-print garden party dress and a narrow shift with a giant
      ladybug sitting on the hip. Von Furstenberg also delved deeper into
      the world of red carpet dressing with a pleated gold lame gown with
      a studded harness and a cocktail dress with bands of embroidered

      There was more than one nod to the 1980s, beginning with the neon
      pink matte lipstick and an off-the-shoulder sweatshirt worn over a
      mini early in the show. Spring's paper-bag skirt came in a Pop Art
      print, with the perfect cropped jacket to match. A trench coat in a
      spotted frog print was irresistible, and a python lamé tunic was
      disco fine.

      The 1960s met the 1980s at Luella Bartley, whose long, lean
      pantsuits in alphabet jacquards and pointy-toed lace-up shoes in
      coordinating prints to match would look just right on Brit style
      queen Sienna Miller.

      An olive parachute silk anorak, layered over skinny black shorts,
      and a graphic black-and-white grid print windbreaker atop bubble gum
      pink skinny jeans really stirred up the memories. A fitted black
      dress with broken mirrors stitched all over made quite an impression
      too, though I'm not sure how you'd sit down. Bags came in slick
      patent leather — oversized, slouchy and with mirror-ball charms. But
      the bigger status symbol for spring may be Bartley's tongue-in-cheek
      T-shirt emblazoned with the word "Geek!"


      A former designer for Katayone Adeli and Development, last year
      Phillip Lim, 31, started his own line 3.1 Phillip Lim. Sold at Cusp,
      Lim's classic, chic and simple clothing has been a favorite of
      glamour girls in the know for ages. In preparation for his next show
      in September — his second at New York Fashion Week — Lim will be
      chronicling his progress in a new blog for Jane magazine beginning
      August 1.

      Name: Phillip Lim
      Hometown: Orange County, California
      My Sign: Virgo
      Song of Summer '06: Whispering Winds by Moby
      Last Book I Read: Marley and Me by John Grogan
      Current Celebrity Crush: Kate Bosworth. There's something so
      beautiful and angelic about her. Perhaps it's the dimples?
      The Movie I'll Watch Whenever It's On Television: Memoirs of a Geisha
      If I Could Be Anywhere, I'd be: In Koh Samui, Thailand

      When did you know that you wanted to be a designer?
      Actually, it discovered me when I was about 23.

      What is your blog for Jane going to be about?
      It's my first time as a blogger so I'm not sure how it all works. I
      am planning to just shoot from the hip, say what's on my mind, my
      feelings, share my insights. It's sorta like an online diary for the
      month of August. I am very curious to see if anyone even cares what
      is on my mind.

      How do you think the internet affects fashion?
      It opens up fashion to the far reaches. It allows people from
      Toronto to Thailand the chance to see, experience and exchange the
      ideas, from moment to moment. It lets them them decide immediately
      what is right and what is wrong for them. In turn we as designers
      become sensitive to this and it influences how we evolve.

      What were your inspirations for the fall collection that's about to
      hit Cusp?
      Part of the fall collection was inspired by the costuming of Prince
      from the movie Purple Rain. I was trying to give "pretty" street
      credibility, a sort of "street elegance." Another part was
      about "moments of preciousness, capturing instances that are
      unexpected, yet completely beautiful." These moments, when
      everything comes together, the mixing and matching, the ideas those
      undescribable, unscripted moment when it just WORKS
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