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3.1 Phillip Lim: upside-down & trompe l'oeil

There was only a little smoke filtering in from the rafters when the 3.1 Phillip Lim show got underway on Monday, at an event space near the High Line. “Stop the smoke,” a photographer called out, about halfway through. By the time it ended, the place was foggier than London.

But you could still spot the houndstooth—a jumbo, blown-up version, as if we were looking at the pattern through a microscope or magnifying glass. In the case of a black and antique white merino wool dress, the pattern was so large it seemed to fall off the edge of the fabric. On another dress, he added a “digitzed houndstooth appliqué” to create a 3-D effect.

Lim referred to “duality,” and “creating illusions of form," in describing the collection in his program notes. “Take a second look,” he wrote slyly.

Which you’d want to do with his “trompe l’oieil layered jacket” of wool crepe. At first glance, it appeared the model wore it propped on her shoulders and hanging down the back, sleeves dangling, but a closer look revealed her arms were actually through another set of armholes.

Another outfit utilized a “transformable skirt short,” essentially a pair of knee-length shorts wrapped by a surprise sheer “skirt case.”

Then there were those knits—all thick and tossed every which way but right side up, or so it seemed. Like the gray coat cardigan with attached scarf, worn with skinny twill trousers. Or a ribbed, funnel-neck shrug, tossed helter skelter atop an alabaster leather zippered t-shirt dress.

He certainly seemed to be having fun, especially when out came the amusing bomber jacket with fur panel on front in the shape of a wee baby jacket. And PVC, swiped from the plumber’s playbook, was used to create unusual accessories, like slip-knot belts, or collars that sat round the neck like the collar of a button-down shirt, in black patent or smoky plastic.

Which brings us back to that smoke machine on overdrive. As far as we know, it’s still chugging away.



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