3.1 Phillip Lim Pre-Fall 2020

Phillip Lim and his partner and chief executive officer Wen Zhou chose to hold their 3.1 Phillip Lim pre-fall appointments for press and retailers at their store on Great Jones Street, a symbolic shift of venue for the brand. “The word is transformation,” Lim said.

Like many others in fashion, Lim has been reevaluating his working ways. “As a brand, we’ve been going through a shift in terms of what’s important to us, meaning a more conscious way of working. I call it ‘3.1 Sustainable Balance’ because it’s about giving the customer the promise of expanding her wardrobe while bringing in more sustainable clothes [produced in] a more sustainable way of working. At the end of the day, I have to make clothes. It’s about her wardrobe, so how do I give her an emotional reaction to it, and do it responsibly?”

To the latter point, Lim has been hyper-focused on materials, and said 60 percent of the fibers he used in this collection are sustainable — some natural, some recycled — a swift increase from the 18 percent he registered when he embarked on this path in 2018.

3.1 Phillip Lim Pre-Fall 2020

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As for the fashion part of the equation, Lim is all about real-world, every dressing, which he seeks to make compelling. This time, he studied John Chamberlain’s sculptures, particularly those of the Sixties and Eighties for their specificity of their discordant hues. “Color makes you happy,” Lim said. Chamberlain’s work provided a dissonant font of inspiration thanks to sculptures media — crushed car parts à la junk-yard heaps or a demolition derbies. Lim transferred the intensity of form while keeping the mood upbeat. He referenced the artist’s powerful, non-linear architecture by deconstructing, twisting, wrapping and “crunching” fabrics to create bold, often asymmetric silhouettes, either in individual garments, or via audacious styling.

The wrap jacket, shown undone, its ties dangling near the ankles, worn over a “crunched” bubble skirt and under a lightweight wrapped hoodie. Conversely, for women who prefer a simpler look, he showed a group of languid, unfettered pieces that were constructed first and overprinted, eliminate textile waste while creating a subtly arty look.

An underlying philosophical practicality directs Lim’s fashion; his clothes are first and foremost, wardrobe-builders. Here, he fused the utilitarian and feminine, minimal and tricked out into a wealth of options his customer will love.

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