For the 3.1 Phillip Lim Resort 2018 collection, the designer was inspired by photographer Jackie Nickerson’s portraits of farmworkers in Malawi, South Africa, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe.
The improvised beauty of Nickerson’s images, in which recycled plastic is artfully repurposed as workwear and remixed with colorful prints, was most evident in the styling of the clothes. A pretty floral dress was secured at the waist with a shiny industrial blue anorak; a suit fashioned from Maasai-style plaid was cinched with a bungee cord–like belt. The shoes seemed to have been assembled with that same resourceful elegance—think, sandals trimmed with curly telephone wire on what looked like a block of recycled glass.
In addition to those covetable midi heels, there were ingenious collapsible tote bags with honeycomb-like compartments. A godsend for those who like to travel light—be it for business or pleasure.
Unpack the more stylized ideas in the collection, and what you were left with was hardworking pieces that have been part of Lim’s lexicon since the beginning. The slouchy, paper bag–style cargo pants that were nipped at the ankle spoke to Lim’s utilitarian sensibilities and have been a running theme for the last few seasons. They gained a sense of newness rendered in laminated cotton that had all the slickness of leather with none of the weight. The feminine reworkings of the classic striped oxford shirting—draped and wrapped around the body like a dancer’s uniform—and tailored, racing stripe tracksuits were familiar details from Lim.
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