To show the vulnerable, humanist side of men, Phillip Lim wanted the most intimate setting for his first men’s presentation — a home. So a spartan and somehow poignant warren of rooms was built to frame the neo-beatnik writers, poets and artists of Lim’s imagination. Yet there was nothing throwback about this utterly modern collection.
Determined to peel away the armorlike traditional layers of Western male dress, Lim proposed a double-breasted jacket that renders a shirt and tie superfluous. Meanwhile, leather T-shirts ruled out the need for jackets. Inspired by the make-do spirit of the Depression era, Lim designed trousers with adjustable fold-over waists that evoked Eastern silhouettes and the beatniks’ wanderlust.
The label launched men’s footwear, which included shoe-sandal hybrids and schoolboy lace-ups with ankle straps for a touch of the subversive. Fabric patterns included a broken windowpane check and an abstract-expressionist splatter print. But the presentation was dominated by solid neutrals that simply let the chic proportions do the talking. And what they said was subversive indeed: global designer fashion at a homegrown contemporary price.