3.1 Phillip Lim Fall 2021 RTW

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Like a lot of us, Phillip Lim needs to take a moment to transition between the trauma of real-life events in the year 2021, and fall fashion. “It’s been quite a heavy morning,” said the designer, who on Tuesday kicked off a social media initiative to draw attention to the escalation of hate crimes against Asians in the U.S. (You can follow the hashtag #StopAsianHate on Instagram and see posts by Lim, Eva Chen, Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia and others.)

Lim, who is Chinese American, recently moved his studio to New York City’s Chinatown, fulfilling a career-long dream, and has been heartsick after witnessing incidents of hate in that community, as well as hearing about others across the U.S.

The conversation about racial justice hasn’t addressed the escalation of “China virus” rhetoric to outright violence against Asian Americans, and Lim wants to change that. “It goes back to the model minority myth, but we finally broke through and said, ‘Please help…’ Which is why I’m asking friends and colleagues to stand with us,” he said.

3.1 Phillip Lim RTW Fall 2021

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No doubt because of the state of the world, when it comes to fashion, Lim has been thinking a lot about feeling “at home and secure in your own clothes,” his said. To that end, his fall collection was cottage core in its functionality (think hunting jackets and horse-and-hound prints), but with enough unexpected colors and elevated fabrications to keep things interesting.

A great-looking camel-colored parka was cut in silk faille and embroidered with surface knots, for example, and worn over a men’s wear check coat, ecru vegan leather pleated skirt and the kind of graphic knit that’s fast becoming a fall must-have, in baby blue with circular cutouts.

A bomber jacket and slit skirt in the softest chocolate brown wide wale corduroy — with matching corduroy suede boots, natch — was another example of Lim’s town-and-country vision for the season. There were nods to Netflix-surfing, quarantine reality dressing, of course, in a chartreuse elevated knit set with drawstring pants and angular hem sweater, and for going out, a white sequined long-sleeved dress with the ease of a T-shirt was a no-brainer.

“We all want to know when we get back into the groove,” he said of wanting to get dressed again. “This weekend, for Valentine’s Day, indoor dining opened back up at 25 percent in New York City and it was like a fashion show!”

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