For pre-fall, Phillip Lim was thinking of bikers and their molls, the kind of guys (and the girls who rode behind them) captured by Danny Lyon in his seminal book The Bikeriders. "I'm really into vintage Harley-Davidson," Lim said, though he went on to clarify that he didn't mean it in the cliché black-leather-jacket way—he had in mind a subtler sort of hog worship. Holding up Lim's own plaid trousers was a vintage Harley belt buckle; peeking out of the neck of his neat, tucked-in sweater was the top of his elaborate tattoo. Even when his girl's being bad, the designer explained, "the inner bourgeoisie always comes through." You could say the same about him. So while there were touches of rebellion in the collection—say, a recurrent motif of a phoenix, splashed on sweaters and picked out on leather tops—there was still the usual 3.1 politesse. It wasn't tidy, per se; too many layers for that. But even thigh-high boots (and leather-paneled skinny pants that suggest thigh-high boots) didn't dispel the sweetness. Sweatshirts in spongy techno-jersey under appliquéd cardigans in same are basically just twinsets, after all.

Sweatshirt dressing has long been a Lim signature, and this collection overall felt more like a remix of old standards (and, one gathers, best sellers) than a breaking of new ground. But the designer hinted that, more than ever before, pre-fall would be a glimpse of Fall to come. And those side-zip sweatshirts, along with mini tunic dresses shown over cropped trousers, had more than a few women in the Style.com office panting in anticipation. "I always complain that there are no more gangs," Lim said wistfully. Actually, he's got his.