It could be said that there are two kinds of menswear designers: The country guys, who take inspiration from their own hunting trips and bushy beards, and the city guys, who take inspiration from the city’s streets, and their own imaginations.
It’s a oversimplification, to be sure, but it’s a dichotomy that New Yorker Phillip Lim embraced in his men’s collection. The show’s materials read: “Sometimes the wind on a subway platform blows just as hard as the wind in a billowing sail.”
True as this may be in the figurative sense, you can be sure that Lim’s beasts – whose fur was used in everything from the coats to the slippers the designer himself wore – were not found roaming the streets of Soho. What’s more is that if you wore Lim’s zebra prints, detachable rabbit collars and fencing vests on your next sailing expedition, you might just get thrown overboard.
Still, we give Lim full points for well-tailored, inventive clothing that resembles a city boy’s fantasy of the great outdoors. And that, perhaps, is a better way of characterizing the designer dichotomy mentioned above: those who traffic in fantasy, where there are no limitations and the imagination rules, vs. those steeped in reality, full as it is with conventions and angry sailors. And when you put it that way, wouldn’t you rather be waiting for the train decked out in Philip Lim?