3.1 Phillip Lim Flips the Script

an exhibition in a room
3.1 Phillip Lim Flips the ScriptCourtesy of 3.1 PHILLIP LIM

Ronny, do you want write about 3.1 Phillip Lim’s fall/winter 2024 New York Fashion Week activation for ELLE magazine? A homework assignment that will take time, effort, and a hard look at your own closet?

Count me in.

Step one: What to wear? I decide to make a statement against fast fashion and the expectations of society and just wear the Noma T.D. and Todd Snyder combo that the stylist Sandy Siu put together for me for the Joy Ride movie premiere a few months ago. My makeup artist Kimi Duncan objects, because she did my makeup for that event, and she doesn’t want photos in her portfolio of me in the exact same outfit. I try to explain that I’m counter-cultural, and nobody actually cares about me at these events anyway. Everyone yells at me until I change my mind. We settle on throwing a vintage Japanese Kendogi from Boro Boro over the Joy Ride outfit to make it fashion.

I call an UberXL, because it’s a fancy event. A green Toyota Sienna shows up. Is it okay to roll up to fashion week in a green Toyota Sienna? Or is it black SUVs only? Who cares? I’m already wearing an old outfit. I’m counter-cultural, man.

As soon as I get into the car, the GPS updates us that we are going to be 15 minutes late. Turns out the street in front of every fashion week event becomes a symbiotic traffic jam of black SUVs, or green Toyota Siennas, photographers, and people who want their photo taken.

31 phillip lim presentation february 2024 new york fashion week the shows
Stephanie Hsu poses at 3.1 Phillip Lim.Arturo Holmes - Getty Images

This event is 3.1 Phillip Lim’s “Intersections,” an immersive fashion installation. In lieu of models walking down a runway, Phillip Lim has decided to let us, the audience, walk through his beautifully designed fashion exhibit.

Inside is extremely busy but civilized. Displays of stylish 3.1 Phillip Lim clothing and handbags hang from phantom threads, so they look like they are being worn by invisible people mid-stride. As I move through the exhibits, I occasionally pause patiently to not block the professionally photogenic people who are having their photos taken or taking selfies. I’m not judging. I’m respectful of the currency of their industry. Fashion week is their NBA playoffs. I get it.

Near the back of the dark exhibition hall is an unmarked entrance to a brightly lit room resembling a clothing store with Phillip Lim’s new full collection arranged neatly on racks. No purchases can be made, because we are in a place that is above crude concepts like money. Phillip is here, warmly talking creative to fans and fashion industry regulars. He sees me and gives me a big hug. I hug him back.

clothes in a room
The exhibition featured floating looks in mismatched patterns.Courtesy of 3.1 PHILLIP LIM

There are free posters designed by Asian artists. In the back, there is a large projected film of hip video vignettes artfully skipping around New York City. In one, a young Asian girl is playing on Coney Island Beach. I’m reminded of art and beauty and humanity again.

When it’s time to go I call an UberXL. This time it’s a Mercedes-Benz Metris. The driver yells at me not to open the door, because it’s automatic. I love New York.

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