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On Phillip Lim's NY Fashion Week front row? Fellow designers

NEW YORK (AP) — Phillip Lim had some unusual guests on his New York Fashion Week front row: fellow designers. Prabal Gurung and Jason Wu attended Monday to cheer him on, as did Alexander Wang on Friday at the Palm Angels show by Francesco Ragazzi.

"It's my favorite thing when I see designers supporting other designers," said Eva Chen, the director of fashion partnerships for Instagram. "They're friends." She was seated next to Gurung for the 3.1 Phillip Lim show, which included a couple of standout coats done in wool to look like faux fur in bright white and hunter green. They were included in a palette of browns, black and gray.

Lim told The Associated Press after the show he was happy to see his designer friends on hand. "It's part of also championing community and galvanizing your peers and colleagues who understand your journey. And, you know, it's such a lonely profession because it's like, everyone from the outside looks so great, but we rarely get to socialize and come together," he said.

Gurung said he was happy to be there to support his friend. "He is an extremely talented designer, but more than that, his heart and his soul and his intentions are in the right place and we are here to support it," he said.

Chen, Gurung said, is the one who suggested the designer support network. "One day she said to all of us, 'How about starting with you guys going into each other's shows,'" he said. "We were just like, 'Duh.' I didn't even think about it. So, very happy to be here."

Wu said New York fashion is a "small family." "Everything's changing and I think we're just really stronger if we support each other. I think it's pretty good to embrace our community," he said. Lim's collection embraced "real, every day heroines." He described it as one that showed off "comfort, protection, stability, sturdiness."

Lim's designs were at times asymmetrical, with an angled pleated skirt and a top draping off a single shoulder. A hooded dress functioned as both athletic and elegant and a pantsuit had long slits in the sleeves where arms can easily pull out. He carried that sleeve style into many other looks.

Lim said he partnered with Woolmark for the collection, making sure his wools were environmentally friendly. He hoped the move would show his intention to be "more conscious and sustainable." Also seated front row was model Ashley Graham and actress Karrueche Tran.

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