Critics Love Kors and Lam, Not So Sure on Lim

From left, 3.1 Phillip Lim, Diane Von Furstenberg, Michael Kors.Photos:

We’re on Fashion Week’s last lap, and the reviews are still rolling in: Michael Kors’s latest collection receives major kudos and Derek Lam reminds us why he’s the industry darling. But why did Phillip Lim draw such a mixed reaction? And could DVF do better?

Michael Kors
Spring ‘08 is all about the late seventies and early eighties at Michael Kors. notes that this approach could’ve veered into unpleasant kitsch territory, but “a healthy respect for classic cuts and silhouettes,” such as stylish navy suits and wide-leg trousers, kept Kors in “solid form.” The “right amount of energy and elegance” kept the “endless parade” of super-bright florals from getting monotonous, says The Daily, and a crystal jersey dress worn by Raquel Zimmerman was “refined and youthful enough to be worn by any customer.” British Vogue is similarly enamored, hailing the collection as “classic, sun-kissed glamour,” particularly floral jersey shifts, the aforementioned wide pants, and a silk-lamé pleated skirt.

View a slideshow of the Michael Kors collection.

3.1 Phillip Lim
Phillip Lim is on track to become the next household designer name. Already the fashion-world darling, he wowed the critics with his latest show, set at the New York Public Library. The theme this time was travel, with giant passports as invites, but the concept and staging won mixed reviews. “The CFDA Award winner paired pieces unexpectedly and, ultimately, smartly,” WWD said. “It was a lot to take in all at once, but certainly a testament to Lim’s energy and ambition.” Meanwhile, felt that the collection was perfect for Lim followers, but “taken as a whole, the message wasn’t as coherent as Fall’s — and awkward staging didn’t help.” Indeed, the setup, while great on paper, didn’t work for those present. “If you were seated behind the stage, however, as we were, much of the experience was lost as the models faced the wrong way,” British Vogue griped. They did concede that Lim “outdid himself on the accessories front.”

View a slideshow of the 3.1 Phillip Lim collection.
Watch a video of the Phillip Lim show.

Derek Lam
Derek Lam’s provocative collection — inspired by photographer Guy Bourdin — was a welcome departure from last season’s overly derivative line. “What this show will be remembered for … were the little silk georgette evening dresses,” predicted. Cathy Horyn gave a rare compliment, noting that “his spring collection had a lot of distinctive looks that will connect with women.” And though there was ample leopard print, it wasn’t over-the-top sexy. “Lam may have channeled the sexy (not sexpot) spirit — and Bourdin model Nicolle Meyer’s feathery coiffure — but his girl is prettily softened up,” said WWD.

View a slideshow of the Derek Lam collection.
Watch a video of the Derek Lam show.

Diane Von Furstenberg
Furthering the travel trend this season, Diane Von Furstenberg’s show was themed “Under the Volcano.” “The spring collection von Furstenberg showed on Sunday had quite the vacation feel,” WWD observed. Chiffons, more safari suits, wraps: “This was DVF in a playful, powerful mood,” British Vogue noted. Horyn, however, wasn’t so enamored with the prints. “The quality of the tropical prints was not up to her level. They were not distinctive enough in the fashion jungle, and the colors, rather unfortunately, were evocative of Play-Doh.” But the crew at British Vogue would not be deterred from their DVF love: “Whatever your destination, DVF’s got you covered.”

Critics Love Kors and Lam, Not So Sure on Lim