3.1 Phillip Lim S/S 2016

Artist Maya Lin collaborates on the New York designer's mountainous earthen set scape

ladies ramp walk
(Image credit: Umberto Fratini, Jason Lloyd-Evans)

Scene setting: When we heard that the artist Maya Lin would be creating a site specific installation for designer Phillip Lim, we knew that there would be something special in the air. True to her environmentalist fashion, Lin deposited multiple mountainous mounds of earth around Lim's stark warehouse venues that served as a commentary on the origins of our existence, while also capturing the regenerative spirit of spring. After the show, the soil was recycled and repurposed to community gardens and parks around New York City.

Best in show: Like Alexander Wang, Phillip Lim also celebrates 10 years in the biz this year and used the occasion to 'stop and smell the flowers' - also the theme of the show. Instead of rehashing the label's greatest hits, Lim pressed forward by showing new shapes and silhouettes while keeping to the botanical theme. Floral embroidered embellishments layered under sheer fabrics had the appearance of pressed flowers, while architectural details such as slender ruffles, paper bag waistlines and swollen jackets gave the impression of bulbs and blossoms. Lim summed up, 'The aesthetic now, ten years on, is bold in its simplicity and poetic in its essence. It's about a youthful elegance, pretty simple.'

Sound bite: 'I just wanted to slow things down a little,' Lim said about the theme. 'It's our 10th year and I didn't want to do a retrospective, so I thought let's just put the brakes on for two seconds and enjoy the moment. This is where it starts and this is where it ends.' The project was also the first time that Lin has collaborated with a brand: 'It is probably the first and only time that I would do as a sculptor coming in,' she explained after the show. 'Phillip loves and respects art the process. It was completely spontaneous.'

fashion beauty events

(Image credit: Umberto Fratini, Jason Lloyd-Evans)

ladies fashion outfit

(Image credit: Umberto Fratini, Jason Lloyd-Evans)

ladies fashion show

(Image credit: Umberto Fratini, Jason Lloyd-Evans)

ladies outfit and accessories collection

(Image credit: Umberto Fratini, Jason Lloyd-Evans)

3.1 PHILLIP LIM fashion collection

(Image credit: Umberto Fratini, Jason Lloyd-Evans)


Photography: Umberto Fratini, Jason Lloyd-Evans

Pei-Ru Keh is a former US Editor at Wallpaper*. Born and raised in Singapore, she has been a New Yorker since 2013. Pei-Ru held various titles at Wallpaper* between 2007 and 2023. She reports on design, tech, art, architecture, fashion, beauty and lifestyle happenings in the United States, both in print and digitally. Pei-Ru took a key role in championing diversity and representation within Wallpaper's content pillars, actively seeking out stories that reflect a wide range of perspectives. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two children, and is currently learning how to drive.