Funny things happened at the 3.1 Phillip Lim show that had nothing to do with the clothes. The clothes were sleek and structured, black and white, graphic and futuristic, and not funny at all. What was funny was an overactive smoke machine and a pair of rogue photographers who decided to forego the pit for some stolen front row seats.
As the lights and music dimmed to cue the start of the show, the smoke machine kicked in. Smoke at a fashion show? A little stinky but par for the course. Only this smoke machine didn’t quit. It got so smokey in the house of Lim that the photo pit started to yell “Stop the smoke!” as it was interfering with their shots. But the smoke wasn’t a problem for two wily photographers who decided help themselves to some plum front row seats next to Bryan Boy and Garance Dore. This was a two man team, one with a camera, one with a strobe–and a large-ish one at that. At one point The Manrepeller’s Leandra Medine looked back at me and mouthed “What is going on??” (see photo evidence at right). I had no idea. But they weren’t supposed to be there. After they were done obscuring everyone’s view someone came by to ream them out. To which one of the photogs replied, just as angrily and in a British accent, something along the lines of “We are just working, we have do our jobs.” OK!
But back to the clothes. They were sleeker and a bit harder and more masculine than Lim’s usual fare. MTV Style reports that the show was set to the soundtrack from Drive and the clothes certainly took on the intensity of the score and the streamlined look of a driving uniform (note that driving was also the reference for Celine’s fall 2011 collection and there were certainly hints of that collection here). They collection was, for the most part, black and white, giving way at the end to teals and burgundies and digitized houndstooth prints on slouchy sweaters. The outerwear was easily the standout of the collection: from a herringbone overcoat that zipped up the side to shearling paneled jackets to belted blazers to a pared down take on a motorcycle jacket–they’ll be hits at retail.
There was good stuff in there. Next time we just hope there’s less smoke getting in our eyes.