Monday, March 15, 2010

i heart Phillip Lim

Phillip Lim
Age: 36
Occupation: Designer
Next Project: A full line of men's shoes for the fall, including utility boots and animal-print sneakers inspired by the photographer Peter Beard.

Best Tailoring Skill: Working on shoulders and sleeves.

Worst Runway: In fall 2007, I had the longest runway in the history of runway shows. And I had a model in a very tapered gown that cut her off at the calf. Imagine her walking in that?

Light of His Life: Oliver is a French bulldog. He is Eastern European. His birthplace is Budapest. He is perfection. He makes me laugh. He is a top model. Today he is at the groomers.

Accidental Career: My parents were immigrants. They saw success as doctor, lawyer or engineer. My mother was a seamstress, so making clothes was not something you would willingly go into. I started in college as a business major and finally transferred to home economics and studied making clothes.

Favorite Clothing Eras: I love two. The 1920s and the 1970s. The ’20s for their elegance and the ’70s for the sensuality.

Ideal Wedding Outfit: I’d keep it simple. You can never go wrong with a classic tuxedo, but I might wear colorful socks with it.

Sleepwear: I wear beat-up sweat pants and a tank top.

Saturday-Night Outfit: It depends where, but I always believe in overdressing. If it is a casual dinner party at someone’s home, you should always have the respect to arrive properly presented.

Sunday Morning Wear: What I slept in.

Floral Decoration: I try to always have flowers in the house. I have a florist in Chinatown, and they deliver orchids every two weeks. I like living with living things.

Item of Clothing He Can’t Live Without: My trench coat. It is easy to travel with. It is functional and at the same time simple.

First Piece Acquired for House: My stuffed crowned crane. I’ve always loved birds and felt that was a very beautiful bird. I passed it in a store window and bought it.

Always on Him: My Cartier love bracelet. I’ve had it on for 20 years, and I am never taking it off. When I was 16, all I wanted was a love bracelet. I bought it for myself, and it was such a huge purchase. It felt like I was buying a house.

Bedroom Surprise: The rug in front of my bed is a giant crocodile skin. When I carried it home, people moved away from me.

Misconception About Designers: That we are all in fashion. Just because you work in the fashion industry, it doesn’t mean you live your life in fashion. I am a dressmaker. I am a businessperson. I don’t live my life in a fashion mode. I don’t live some fabulous existence. I am not putting on the Ritz.

Morning Routine: I get up around 6:30 a.m. I make coffee. Spend some time with Oliver. I listen to some music. Then I read. I go to the office at 9.

Favorite Oliver Accessory: His toy rat. He took the guts out. He’s a rat hunter too.

Father Artifact: My father was a professional poker player, and I have his 24-carat belt buckle that says “Lucky” on it. He had shoes that matched. It was pretty fascinating.

Workday Lunch: I take 10 to 15 minutes at my desk. I am such a creature of habit. I’ll eat the same salad and soup for a month. Then I’ll switch to fish and rice. Or I’ll have a Mediterranean meal with kebabs and rice. Sometimes I’ll go for a meatball sandwich.

Childhood Obsessions: It was eclectic. I went through a phase of selling and reselling toys. Then I went through a pigeon-breeding moment. Then I had a BMX phase. Then it was Mexican vintage belts. You name it.

O.C. Memorabilia: I grew up in Orange County, Calif., and I still have some of the clothes I wore during those years. I have these African dashikis that are cut into tops, and sometimes in summertime I’ll wear them, and people look at me as if, “You don’t belong here.”

Favorite Place to Vacation: I love Thailand. I was born there. It is so exotic, but the people are so kind and gentle.

Favorite New Gadget: A remote light switch by the artist Tobias Wong. It’s a light switch encased in a plastic box. You can hook it up to whatever you want — you can turn off the lights in the kitchen when you are in the bedroom.

Fantasy Career: I’d be a florist or a botanist. I love working with flowers. I love the idea of nurturing something beautiful.

Best Fashion Advice: Fit is key. Don’t try to get into the thing that isn’t your size.

Favorite TV Show: The “Real Housewives” of wherever.

Current Obsession: It’s sculpture, and I have sculptures all around the house. My favorites are these three pieces from Tonga. They are friends who guard the front entrance.

Best Recent Acquisition: I got this new pair of shoes from the factory that makes the shoes for my new shoe collection. I’ve been test-driving them for the whole week, and it is like your feet are on a most comfortable sofa.

Favorite Item in House: The pastel I have by the Abstract Expressionist painter Joan Mitchell. It speaks to me of a kind of chaos I understand and that calms me — controlled chaos.

What He’d Buy With $20: Coffee, treats for Oliver and something to read.

Evening Routine: I get home around 8:30 p.m. My first priority is Oliver. We go for a quick stroll. Then I get dinner, park myself on the sofa and veg out with some trashy TV. Very boring.

Always in Fridge: Diet Coke. I don’t cook. I order. I am a great orderer.

Fitness Routine: My goal is to have one.

Object That Speaks to Him: I pass this framed piece every morning on my way out of my bedroom. It says, “Never Look Back.” That’s a big motto for me.

Hobby: Right now, couch time. My couch is shabby chic. It is so comfortable. Don’t get on it, or you will never get off.

How He Designs: It starts with a vision. I see a pair of trousers, and then it becomes a scavenger hunt for the right fabric, the color, the cut.

Typecast: I’m great at dictating, but when it comes to doing something myself, I’m lazy. When people meet me, they think I am a Type A personality, but honestly, I barely pass as a Type B.

Motto: Some days peanuts; some days shell.

Worst Design: I don’t regret. I move on.

Credit: NY Times

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