Phillip Lim is known to explore themes in his collections -- like “duality,” for instance, or a pastime like “kiting.” But this season the theme seems obscure, something to do with biker chicks, clearly, given all that leather.
The first look down the runway held much promise -- a pink, quilted coat worn atop a taupe sweater, light blue button-down and caramel-colored leather miniskirt with two slits. The mix of color and texture worked beautifully, and the coat gently floated along as the model walked.
There are other satisfying looks, like what appeared to be a mohair sweater dress, all cozy and warm. A teal overcoat, oversized and asymmetrical. And the handbags -- like a fluffy shearling, bag or the rainbow shaded pony hair.
But what do we make of that leather sweatshirt, worn with check trousers, which just looked bulky, cumbersome? A series of shearling coats that were clearly designed to look patchy and ragged… kind of did. A denim shirt and pants were covered in patches, like an Eagle Scout gone mad (and trying way too hard). And tall leather boots with sandaled feet and knee pads above -- in theory, a real tough-gal, armored look, perhaps, but in reality -- are they comfortable? How’s a woman to cross her legs? Seriously. Much less ride a Harley.
Many of the leather vests, skirts and coats were also cool to look at … but seemed stiff. And a tad shiny and new. Isn’t the appeal of real biker gear that it’s all super-soft and broken in?
A sweatshirt came emblazoned with a crest, stating “SonoMama.” A quick Google search reveals it's a phrase that pops up in Manga, a Japanese way of saying something akin to “in a natural state” or “just as you are.”
Diehard Lim fans -- and he’s got plenty, all downtown hipsters and stylistas on the edge -- may thrill to this collection. But wouldn’t real biker chicks be getting their leather gear at the local Army/Navy store? There seems to be a rather significant disconnect here -- a very designery take on an anti-designer world.