Berlin was the impetus behind the 3.1 Phillip Lim Pre-Fall 2014 collection. He was fascinated by the “percolating current of rave culture” there. That culture is super modern—even if rave’s first heyday was somewhere circa the nineties—and coexists with Berlin’s crumbling stateliness. “They’re living in a transitional landscape,” he said. You can twist your glow sticks among elegant ruins.

Looking to the city’s evolving rave culture he worked a whimsical vibe via fuzzy poodle motifs, both figurative and abstract, and got more literal with a glowstick print shown on an anorak and skirt. The Creative Director took a trip to Berlin for his 40th birthday earlier this year, and after repeatedly spotting modernist architecture interspersed with decaying, crumbling buildings—lingering evidence of the aftermath of the fall of the Berlin Wall—he accidentally stumbled on his inspiration for pre-fall. “I wanted to capture that state of transition,” he explained at his showroom on Wednesday. “And I asked myself, How do you build a character from a city?”

Berlin’s architecture — old classical buildings merged with modern, supersleek ones — was also a drawing point for Phillip Lim. The notion was best expressed with a multicolored metallic jacquard suit, its blazer segmented with corduroy to exemplify two unrelated ideas merged into one. The designer elected a German poodle as the seasonal motif. Space-bound hounds featured on sweaters, while flocculent shearling fabric made its way onto structured bags and even on chain-adorned sandals and sneakers.