Phillip Lim's muse of the season was the so-called accidental tourist. He's a traveler, a surfer, a hoarder, and a mixer, piling on his inspirations out of context and out of order. "Nothing that should go together," is how Lim summed up the look, "but what holds it together is the boys' good form. Like surfing."
Lim's surfers were precariously balanced between work and play, this climate and that. When a collection strives for eclecticism, it's hard to fault it for being eclectic. Lim's dizzy mix was unquestionably that. It opened with a series of buffalo-print pieces mixed with cracked, fringed leather, then worked through Baja stripes and solid colors to arrive at the Hawaiian florals that have, for whatever odd reason, become one of the touch points of the entire season. Nothing was off the table. Lim imagined his explorers mixing gift shop items with treasures from home, their tropical journeys bridging work and play. He fiddled with the shoulder zipper of a neoprene scuba top. "Play," he intoned when the zip was down, "and work," once he'd pulled it up. The scenario quickly reached well past any logical conclusion. "He didn't realize he had a meeting—on his surfboard," Lim said. "That's the new wave."
A few among the many, many different menswear proposals here: head wraps Lim was calling "boo rags," snap-off "stripper pants," oversize beach bags with special towel holders, jelly sandals, kimono sleeves, Perfecto leather vests embossed with an oily glitter . Some inevitably seemed more credible than others. Simpler tended to be better, as in the side-zip wool car coats that extended and elaborated upon the side-zip tunics the designer has been doing for seasons. Much of the remainder was esoteric. Or maybe it merely looked that way in the mix. Lim, who has a finely honed design eye for making covetable products, might take on more advice for the styling of his shows. He's close enough to the action that you'd believe his board meetings really did take place on boards. Think what the attention of a calming presence might do—an accidental tourist wandering into a strange land.