This season the designer doubled down on practicality, dispensing with the lofty thematic impulses that have guided his runway shows in the past for the 3.1 Phillip Lim Pre-Fall 2019 collection.
The collection featured a classic two-piece ensemble to look like a one-piece jumper. Picture a check blazer tucked into a pair of high-waisted peg-leg pants—an unusual styling proposition that made surprisingly good sense. Lim also has a natural affinity for layering and managed to work the suggestions of sweetness and intimacy into the collection with the right amount of subtlety. Delicate lace-trimmed dresses were worn over baggy pleated pants and under techy all-weather trenchcoats and vests.
The small details were grounded in functionality, cut at forgiving angles away from the body like an apron and not remotely clingy. Lim created a Jean Cocteau–inspired print for the collection, perhaps the most romantic aspect of his offering. Those painterly brushstrokes added an unexpected sense of dreaminess to the designer’s twisted 1940s-style dresses and hooded knit ponchos that was safely in the realm of the real.