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3.1 Phillip Lim Ready To Wear Spring Summer 2016 New York

After a decade designing his signature brand, Phillip Lim decided it was time to “stop and smell the flowers” — at least that is what the backdrop leading into his show venue had scrawled across it. Lim even went as far as to send out flower seeds as part of the invitation to his show.

That was a poetic touch, and one that could have come in handy at the venue where the artist Maya Lin had created an installation that consisted of a number of different sized mounds of soil. But no one dared to drop their seeds into the dark earth hills that delineated the catwalk.

The only flowers that bloomed on Lim’s runway catwalk were those that flourished on printed fabrics or were embroidered onto garments. It’s true there was an organic richness to the designer's chosen color palette of forest greens, blues and sandy beige. And the asymmetrical construction of many of the pieces spoke to the idea that in the natural world nothing grows in a straight line and everything is beautiful in its own way.

That was the best way to approach this collection. An offering that had some fundamental winning wardrobe ideas such as the high, paper bag waist trousers, the roomy leather perfectos and the drawstring-hemmed anoraks with the mesh inserts. But there were also times when the lineup proved too cerebral.

The odd ruffle-sleeved tops that did away with any fabric at the back was one of the show’s stranger sartorial options. While the knots of extra fabric hanging off of the cuffs of shirts and the quirky way Lim sectionalized his garments to leave skin exposed all looked a bit fussy.

If this collection was Lim’s attempt to take a beat and try to step out of the comfort zone of codes he had crafted over the past 10 years, then he should be applauded for his efforts. There were a lot of budding ideas in this show; it just felt as if they still needed a bit more time to germinate.

SEE THE VIDEO COVERAGE HERE