"Who has the time to go on vacation anymore?" wondered Phillip Lim in his studio. Not him. With stores to open around the world, new locations to scout, ad campaigns to shoot, and more, he isn't the unplug-and-unwind type. Neither, he finds, is his customer. So he conceived his Resort collection as one to wear as you play while you work, or work while you play. The modern woman, Lim reasons, combines both.

Once, the Lim girl played all day. But customers grow up, as brands do, and the women who first fell for the label in their twenties are now, as it chugs toward its tenth year in business, in their thirties. The transition from youth to maturity is one that's preoccupied the designer of late. "It's been such a watershed past year," he said. "I'm finally seeing a light and moving away from the sophomore blues." He spoke of streamlining his collection, refining past hits. Proportions were abbreviated and widened, but the aggressive styling Lim has favored in the past was tempered somewhat. There's still plenty of pop—those sherbet-hued laser-cut scuba leathers, the fuzzy pom-pom "dandelions" covering a bomber jacket—but to better effect. A few splattery prints, and one jokey one with farm animals, suggested last gasps of youth yet. But Lim has become a force to be reckoned with. He's got an international empire, and this week he won a CFDA Award for the second year running, this time for accessories. As if on cue, Resort features the debut of a backpack version of his hit Pashli bag. It could be the next best seller. That ought to buy him a few days' vacation.