“I am not a crier and I cannot stop. Four years, and we climbed out of almost losing it all,” said Phillip Lim, who returned to the New York Fashion Week runway Sunday for the first time since September 2019 with a charming and commercial collection.
He showed in the building on Canal and Bowery Streets that used to house Jing Fong, a dim sum restaurant that was the center of the social fabric of Chinatown before it downsized and moved to Centre Street in 2021, a casualty of the pandemic and its outsized effect on Asian businesses fueled by racism.
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“Generations of immigrants married here,” Lim said backstage, sharing the personal inspiration behind his new New York uniform. “The narrative is my favorite Asian models…Chinese slippers…paying homage to our elders who built this — the nameless and faceless — let’s give a nod to them,” said the designer and activist, who has worked to champion the AAIP community with his stylish friend group the “Slaysians” and their House of Slay comic series.
At the show the mood was celebratory, with a bevy of famous fans on the sidelines to cheer Lim on, including Awkwafina, “Everything Everywhere All at Once” star Stephanie Hsu, Teyana Taylor, Karrueche Tran, YG, fellow “Slaysians” Prabal Gurung, Laura Kim and Tina Leung and more.
On the runway, Lim gave them plenty to love and buy, including darling transparent tops, skirts and pants dotted with jewels, which carried over to covetable mules and mesh Chinese slippers; crisp cotton modern tailoring with architectural cuts and flourishes (plus warm weather-friendly organza jacket options), and elegant black sheer draped knit gowns that showed just enough.
He nodded to sport with a fun sleeveless gray balloon hoodie emblazoned with the slogan “NY Lover” worn over a khaki trouser skirt, and created his own New York Liberty flag cut into scarfy silk separates.
“This is ‘let’s pick up a game of basketball in our Jordans,'” he said of a striking red leather balloon top worn over black leggings that spoke to the city streets.
“In the end, the clothes have a sense of purpose,” Lim said. So does he. It’s good to have him back.
Launch Gallery: 3.1 Phillip Lim RTW Spring 2024
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