The large runway at Phillip Lim was sandy and strewn with petals and carnations, as if a beach party had wrapped up only hours before. Lim himself was thinking celebrations too - although not at the beach or even this era. He titled the collection 'Midnight at the Victorian Rodeo' and if that doesn’t call for a visual feast then I don’t know what does. However, the feast didn’t exactly materialise. The designer was in a softer, more nostalgic mood, longing for a more innocent time when things were easier (or so they appeared). 'It's my reaction to the current mood in culture,' he confessed in his notes. He called the result of said reaction a 'playful austerity'.
Lim essentially narrowed down the options on offer to the fundamentals of a summer city wardrobe: a floral print dress, a silk bomber jacket to throw over everything, light-washed denim, a rash-guard for cover, a light anorak in case it rains, short shorts plus something tailored and smart for work. This being Lim, of course, meant that a floral dress had a Victorian neckline but was worn over a sheer scuba-like layer, a bomber was shrunk or came in snakeskin as did the a pair of high-waisted shorts. Another looked like fifties bikini bottoms. A little white jacket was trimmed with eyelet embroidery, zips ran across pretty much everything and pretty lace-trimmed bras worked under lightly pleated silk slip dresses. I never had Lim down as a romantic, but I guess when the mood gets tough, the daydreaming gets going.