3.1 Phillip Lim Ready To Wear Fall Winter 2013 New York

The ever-faithful girlfriends of bikers was the starting point to the 3.1 Phillip Lim collection this season. It was a smart choice for a designer who is trying to give a bit of an edge to classic urban streetwear. So how do you make a biker chick more than just a stereotype without loosing that menacing air of indifference?  For Lim, the answer seems to be a combination of an unusual color palette and a juxtaposition of pleasingly jarring fabric combinations.

On a black asphalt catwalk, wet with water, the designer showed bi-polar shirts that sliced together a classic blue business shirt with a micro houndstooth print. He embossed neoprene salmon pink shorts with a geometric motif and paired them with over the knee sandal boots. And oversized sweatshirts came cut from an abstract patchwork of camouflage rabbit fur, oil slick black nappa leather or embroidered with the winged crest the designer created for the collection. All fiery fashion pieces to be sure.

But the stars of the show were the outerwear. Lim showed some seriously covetable coats that moved from the rather sophisticated slightly padded teal coat with an oversized collar and camel parka with a detachable leather bib, to nubby oversized shearling coats with asymmetrical lapels and his now hallmark peplum biker jackets cut in glossy leather, or a combo of leather and wool for an interesting textural tension.

Lim almost made it to the end of this show without ever letting the biker theme get away from him. Unfortunately, the inclusion of a series of patch covered denim pieces (think sponsors logos on a race car driver’s suit) that finished the show ended this generally well done collection on a kitsch note.

- Jessica Michault