Phoebe Philo has never kept herself away from art references since she became the creative director at Céline. Rather than placing artworks as prints on basic t-shirts and easy-to-sell totes, Philo takes her time to discover the artist of her latest obsession. For spring-summer 2017, the designer took Yves Klein’s compelling legacy for a spin, and the effect is redefines the term ‘stunning’.
During the last fashion week in Paris, the guests at Céline witnessed Phoebe’s feminine flowy tunics and dresses as canvas for Klein’s most vibrant work from his Anthropometry period, which sparked controversy in the 60s art world. Yves’ shocking performances involved women, who painted their naked bodies before an audience to the tune his self-composed music. His famous use of ‘human paintbrushes’ paved the way for a new kind of performance art, while it also became a new technique of expression through painting. Yves always used to say that his art is filled with “poetic energy”: the dynamism rooted in his work is truly powerful, and it electrifies the viewer up to today.
In her latest collection for Céline, Philo celebrates every type of women – from mothers who come to school to pick up their kids to passionate lovers, spring-summer 2017 strikes with variety of characters. The pieces featuring Klein’s work aren’t just nods to Phoebe’s favorite artist. It’s about temperament; constant movement. The women who participated in Klein’s performance weren’t scared of the wave of criticism which primarily hit them for taking part in those “vulgar events”. Together with the artist, they expressed themselves through the medium of their bodies, and paint. The collection is as multi-faceted as women are, and Philo gets that better than any other designer today by playing with unobvious inspirations.