It sometimes seems that the Hong Kong aesthetic is ‘more is more’. Boutiques display dresses covered in an abundance of ruffles, lace and dictionary-defying slogans… Whatever happened to the 90s silhouette, that calm cool and collected minimalist look?! Thankfully, 3.1 Phillip Lim (which recently opened its first stand-alone store in HK in Harbour City) is here to stop the insanity, with their range of sleek chic creations. Here’s what to look out for to get that minimalist look.
Phillip Lim starts with a simple shape and then transforms it into so much more with a bit of contrasting. The use of false silhouettes, which Lim refers to as ‘shadow mapping’, is a stroke of pure genius. At first glance, your eyes are tricked into noticing just the centre shapes and forgetting about the rest – meaning that these clothing creations are shaving inches and pounds off your frame with nothing more than an optical illusion!
Layering has also been simplified – now you can create the look of stacked clothing with the ease of just one piece! Coats boast two collars or dual materials while dresses reveal multiple textures like shirring, sequins and silk.
One piece that brings me right back to the 90s is the mini skirt/pants combo. At a school dance, one of my friends wore this and declared that it was a ‘skant’! The look has been brought into the 21st century by revving up the fabrics and cut, making the pants sheer and the skirt asymmetrical.
The knits also look simple at first glance, but you’ll soon realise that there is more to them than meets the eye. Closer inspection reveals cool details like discreet shoulder cut-outs and the use of several different shades and knitting techniques to make up one garment.
I particularly loved the fringy antique white sleeveless piece on the right. It never really gets too chilly in HK, making this the perfect transitional piece between seasons. This would be the epitome of downtown chic paired with some skinny grey jeans and ankle boots when no jacket is required… then, when winter is fully upon us, you could layer this over a denim shirt for added warmth. I am dying to see it paired over a shirt that has long leather sleeves! If you know where to pick one up, let me know!
But perhaps what keeps 3.1 Phillip Lim on our creative consciousness are these amazing leather bags! The shapes are simple carry-alls that you can take everywhere and pair with any outfit (depending on the colour you choose). Meanwhile the oversized Roy Lichtenstein inspired clutch is more of a statement piece. After all that minimalism, a little crazy every now and again can still be very very cool!
Check out more photos from 3.1 Phillip Lim’s AW12 Collection on our Facebook Page!
3.1 Phillip Lim, Shop G310-311, Gateway Arcade, Harbour City, Canton Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong, 2113 0311
Non-runway photos by Sabrina Sikora Photography