Designer Phillip Lim's description of his latest collection sounds more like an art history lecture about a modern painting.
He said in his program notes that he was "creating illusions of form by exploring the idea of shadow mapping and paneling."
Lim's runway show on Monday during New York Fashion Week did, though, have a practical side. Many of his clothes looked comfy and wearable, especially the oversized sweaters with one sleeve often hanging down the back as the models walked the runway.
It's not a usual way to see a sweater modeled — but it IS a usual way for a sweater to be worn: haphazardly. "The everyday super-heroine is always in motion," Lim said backstage. "I love how women dress in transit. She's on the street, hailing a cab. She may not have time to put it on completely."
Lim said he enjoyed playing with the shadow effect in his clothes, an idea inspired by neo-noir comics.
A black-and-white "shadow dress," for example, was white in front and back, with black on the sides. The effect was wonderfully slimming. "That's how you wear white," Lim said with a smile.
Some items were so boxy or oversized as to appear seriously futuristic — as in a khaki and white shadow jacket.
A more accessible motif was houndstooth, as in a black merino wool houndstooth dress, or a huge herringbone reversible overcoat that screamed: "Sherlock Holmes!" (But more feminine!)
Lim's shows tend to attract indie musicians, and Monday's show was no exception. Singer Oh Land was there in the front row, chatting with Annie Clark, who performs as St. Vincent.