A fascination with kites inspired the 3.1 Phillip Lim spring collection. And in his program notes, Lim quoted from an unidentified line of kite-oriented verse. (A little rooting around on the Internet turned up the apparent source: “Kiting,” a poem by Robert Valkenburgh, a Dutch sculptor and kite builder.) “It is the search for a form which can be lifted by the currents of the wind…,” the poet wrote.
Kiting seems an appropriate pasttime for designers. Fabric and wind make for an interesting duo — think of the strangely satisfying feeling one gets upon seeing a flag unfurl in the breeze, or Marilyn Monroe’s giddy moment in "The Seven Year Itch," standing atop that breezy subway grate while wearing that fantastic white dress. Lim’s womenswear looks to explore and capitalize on that. And you gotta give him credit for an interesting premise.
Delicate, spare tops, like one in faded orange with two “kite tails” of fabric trailing over shoulders and down the back. Or the two-tops-in-one — high-necked and fluttery in front, but with two straps in back, like a tank (and a completely different blouse) in back. There was a sporty attitude, with track pants that zipped up to reveal the shoes. A charcoal sweater had cut-out shoulders; a skirt, mesh panels in center to make it look like shorts; and trousers, adjustable side zips (another track pant reference) that were all reminiscent of the kind of venting one finds in activewear — and that all presumably might enhance aerodynamics should you send these babies up into the sky.
Perhaps the most dramatic look was the pink bonded leather “collapsed collar” jacket, with massive lapels that flap open. You’re bound to get some lift from that. Luckily, the shoes — thick, sturdy heels in metallic silver and sheer plastic — will keep you anchored to the ground.