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New York Fashion Week: Phillip Lim shoots, scores with classic sportswear

February 18, 2010 | 11:00 am

Phillip Lim hit it out of the park with his fall collection by returning to what he became famous for in the first place -- elevating classic sportswear pieces to must-haves with the slightest design tweaks.

In a season when nearly every designer has shown a cape, his had something extra. The first came in a blown-out, buff-colored check pattern, paired with a hot pink silk blouse with ties at the cuffs and black suede jeans with a bit of flare in the leg.

(For those who live in warmer climates, Lim's crisp white oxford button down cape shirt was a clever spin on the trend. )

Lim ticked off the sweater-dressing trend, too, offering an airy gray mohair sweater dress with a chiffon hem and a gray merino wool poncho with side lacing.

Winter shorts are a perennial for the designer, the best of which came in denim with a paperbag waist, worn with a fur-trimmed anorak. Another genius piece was a shearling "trick" coat with detachable trench details -- a design twofer.

If there was any weak link, it was the handkerchief silk dresses, with asymmetrical hems, which didn't have the heft and polish of the rest of the collection. A better evening option was the gold tweed lamé tuxedo, which had a sublime fit.

Lim also showed several "suspender skirts," which brought to mind lederhosen. Then again, if anyone has the cool-girl clients to pull them off, it's Lim.

-- Booth Moore in New York

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Photos: Looks from Phillip Lim's fall/winter 2010 runway collection. Photo credit: Peter Stigter and Jonas Gustavsson / For The Times