© The Financial Times Ltd 2015 FT and 'Financial Times' are trademarks of The Financial Times Ltd.
February 11, 2014 3:42 am
Monday marked the midway point in this season’s NYFW calendar. A fitting showcase then, for two of the city’s better-known contemporary designers whose latest collections suggested both are in a state of transition.
Olivier Theyskens had set aside the self-conscious experimentalism that had derailed him last season with a very deliberate return to the chic and practical aesthetic core of the Theory brand. The decision to remove his last name as a prefix mirrored the stripped back minimalism of his designs – the simplicity of which proved to be the perfect foil for the technical dexterity of his pieces.
The standout outerwear took a tailored, womanly silhouette with a focus on the waist: think a belted jacket that was draped on one side, rippling as the model walked to reveal snatches of silken lining; buttoned and elongated velveteen coats with a tapered cigarette pant; and some terrific embroidered oversized evening jackets – leather bejewelled with flowers, that felt like a brush with urban street couture.
Overall it was neat, considered and eminently wearable – the same of which could not be said for Philip Lim. The show was creatively erratic at best and confusingly haphazard at worst, inspired by the fictional “Soleil – a fun and culturally curious woman”.
Whoever she is, Soleil was a bit of a hot mess. Texture blocking dominated, either in the form of leather and laser shearling “transit” vests and lilac crepe midi skirts, or graphic printed round-necked retro sweaters under a synthetic cerulean blue pinafore. Far more appealing were the simpler pieces – few and far between – that held the distinguishing hallmarks of insouciant cool that had once made Lim, well, Lim. A standout look of a denim-style leather jacket with fluffed up, furry collar and tapered wide leg trouser had the front row swooning. While exploration should be applauded, as should efforts to broaden and build a brand, in this instance Mr Lim had failed to find his way.
Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2015. You may share using our article tools.
Please don't cut articles from FT.com and redistribute by email or post to the web.