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3.1 Phillip Lim Womenswear A/W12

With models holding on to clutch bags for dear life, Lim's collection focused on protection

It was a foggy night at the Phillip Lim show. Fog literally shot out from the ceiling to hover over the crowd and the runway, creating the type of scenario not safe for a girl to be walking around in with her 3.1 Phillip Lim bag out in the open. So they were encased in outer bags, or fitted with hand straps for a direct grasp, folded over and zipped to safeguard the inner contents and clutched tightly to the side. Lim is a smart designer but he really knows how to strip and equip an accessory down to its basics, making function attractive by playing it outright.

The whole collection is about protection and being insular

There's also suggestion in the gesture of clutching a bag by its body as opposed to its strap, the suggestion that the girl is not messing around. "Take the bag within a bag, which you could see through but it would stay there, the trousers over the shorts, the coverups over the skirts," said Lim. "The whole collection is about protection and being insular." There's an element of security to a bag that moves with you, keeping you and your documents of identity in close motion no matter how fast or dangerous the pace around you. You are your own protector. It's every girl for herself in Gotham city.