6 at Spring St.
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This luxury womenswear line is the edgy brainchild of Norwegian designer Andreas Melbostad and boasts the financial backing of Susan Dell, wife of computer developer Michael Dell. Phi opened this flagship boutique in 2004, and the racks of clothes don’t even come close to filling the sprawling room, which features stately black columns, dark wood floors, and white cubic couches. Dozens of potted orchids near the entrance provide an element of elegance in the otherwise industrial space. Melbostad is fond of feathery crêpe de chine and georgette fabrics, adding signature urban accents like asymmetrical zippers, lacy lingerie-inspired separates, and dip-dyed jersey tanks. The aesthetic of the line varies with the season: While the spring 2008 collection showcased chunky studded biker boots and long menswear-inspired jackets, the following season displayed neon animal prints and polka-dot ruffle skirts. The fresh-from-the-catwalk looks are intended for serious followers of fashion—separates start at $1,000—and have been well represented in the pages of Vogue.