It's a moment of pure lust -

Phillip Lim - the man behind 3.1 Phllip Lim, one of my favourite New York labels - and Uniqlo, the coolly-understated Japanese label, have joined forces to create a moment pure, absolute desire.

I am seriously lusting after the plaid skirt, and wondering why it manages not to look retro, the way every knee-length plaid skirt I've ever seen looks like a costume from 'Pleasantville'. It's a simple, uncomplicated look, but it's distinctive and has character, all while looking very easy and effortless. The clothes have the kind of spirit and attitude I want in clothes, but it's so hard to find in our over-designed times.

I've been lamenting for months that we should be getting labels like Uniqlo and H&M in Singapore, instead of the insipid Gap or worse, the hideous Ted Baker. I got my rare taste of Uniqlo when I hit Shanghai and stumbled into a mega-sized outlet - me and my sister promptly tried everything in sight, no doubt annoying the hell out of the staff, since it was closing time.

Uniqlo is inexpensive, and beautifully made for the price, and the people behind it have the rare gift of making simple things with a finish that you can't quite explain, but decidedly one. It's the kind of good quality stuff you can build a look on, or wear on its own.

I think styling has a lot to do with it, but that's the best part - Uniqlo isn't selling a look, it's selling a certain attitude, and how many mass-production fashion labels can claim that?
Check out the cute dresses and sweaters Uniqlo is doing for spring -

And see the nonsense Gap is hawking -

More yawn-a-minute dresses that are, not ugly or anything, but not very well-made, a bit off the mark trend-wise, not classic enough to buy for keeps, not basic enough to build an outfit on, and probably not worth the money.

Now, seeing Phillip Lim's stuff for the label takes my heart-felt laments even further - it's ripping it into little pieces. I can buy a very limited selection of 3.1 Phillip Lim in Singapore, but even though it's hardly designer prices, it's still pretty steep for my pockets. It just kills me that some of his stuff is going to be even more accessible, but I have a near-zero chance of getting my hands on some.

This is soooo depressing, and I can't even go shopping to make myself feel better - everything I see will remind me of what I can't buy.

Pictures taken from http://www.uniqlo.jp/promotion/designers/20061020/?mid=729444&lid=12


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