The rumours of Phoebe Philo leaving Céline are slowly, slowly becoming a fact. Let’s have a moment for pause.
It’s still not clear, whether spring-summer 2018 was Philo’s last collection for the house. But the resort 2018 is a prove that ‘Célinism’ is a self-reliant, important fashion term on its own rights. It’s a kind of secular belief in terms of aesthetical expression . What does it mean? Sensual sophistication (the dresses with lace inserts). Timeless and seasonless items (the trench coat; the big bag). Empowering (over-sized suits). Women, who trusted – and will continue to trust – Phoebe know the principles of Célinism very well.
P.s. I really feel sorry for the designer, who will take her place. What a great challenge will it be to do something ‘better’? And not just to prolong her minimalist trademark? For now, it’s whispered that Philo is heading to Burberry, where Christopher Bailey has departed yesterday after a 17-year-long tenure. If that’s true – we will follow.
In the past, Céline wasn’t the same Céline we know today. In 2017, the label is associated as an epitome of minimal, edgy chic. Actually, Phoebe Philo‘s spring-summer 2018 endeavour was to revive the Céline woman of the 70s, 80s. Those were the pre-Juergen Teller times, when the brand’s campaigns were presenting beige-loving, bourgeoisie ladies whom you would rather see on the crème de la crème of Parisian streets – the Avenue Foch.
Does this woman exist in 2017? Well, she’s rather carrying a croco Birkin, than a Céline plastic tote or, let’s say, orthopedic, rubber sneakers. But for Philo, it wasn’t about trying to do something forced or pretentious. Eccentric, charming, yet nonchalant – those are the words that well define this collection, which has both, an embellished sequin evening dress with a turtleneck and a thick-wool poncho for weekend escapes. “It certainly felt personal“, the designer told the press after her show. She surely meant that the line-up wasn’t meant to be single-themed, but more of an intimate, very elusive vision. Whether in an all-beige suit or a boldly striped gown, carrying a blanket or dressed head-to-toe in white, the Céline woman is definitely not unequivocal in her style choices. Just like fashion in the past that was free of ‘influencers’, all that social media dictatorship and trend rushing. It was about experimenting and having that ‘spark’ in your look. You had it, or not. I fear not everyone will be able to pull off these looks – they really do need that personality, not the wallet. But that’s the reason why Céline stays one of the most sophisticated labels existing today.
It’s rare to see a designer, who throughout time is true to his or her style, and at the same time is keen on evolving. Haider Ackermann is the perfect example of such designer. Since designing for Berluti, a solely menswear luxury brand, its visible how Ackermann’s tailoring skills have improved and grown up. But still, his signature sensibility is as alive as a decade ago. The spring-summer 2018 isn’t only about breathtaking tailoring (although if every designer had at least one impressive suit in their collection, precisely in a deep shade of burgundy, I would be more than pleased), but also a long-lasting affair with modern-looking draping. I mean, how good are those evening dresses? Dreaming to see Tilda Swinton wearing one on the red carpet, oozing with some unconventional, anti-glamour seduction. In overall, the collection was very mature and minimal, but there were some charming remnants of the ‘old’, badass-pirate-style Haider. The jackets in precious gold (a striking contrast to soft lilac and light yellow) were made of a ‘cracked-up’ fabric, and if you scan it thoroughly, you will notice that it looks like a tattered wallpaper. Really, really good. Well, I should also add ‘as always’ in case of Ackermann.
The passing of Pierre Bérge, Yves Saint Laurent’s partner in private and business life, wasn’t meant to be reflected as a mourning in Anthony Vaccarello‘s third collection for Saint Laurent. Rather, the spring-summer 2018 collection was a celebration of the ‘l’amour fou’, the crazy love that the two shared. And that was a show that matches one word: grandiose!
From what should I start? The venue was an open-air platform situated in the most precious viewpoint in the French capital – yes, the twinkling Eiffel Tower was the runway’s backdrop! THAT’S PARIS, and Vaccarello loves to highlight that Saint Laurent is the most Parisian label you can think of, in terms of style and its faces (for Yves that was Catherine Deneuve; for Anthony it’s Charlotte Gainsbourg). Second, the collection with an impression that was just as strong as of the venue. It was divided in three parts, the women’s ready-to-wear, menswear and ‘modern-day’ couture. The first part was very lace-y, very bohème and Courtney Love / Lenny Kravitz-cool. In other words, that’s what you see a Parisienne wear on the streets, no bra, just pure confidence. Menswear was simple and chic. However, the couture-ish part was my favourite. What a contemporary ode to Yves and his memorable appreciation for the ‘custom-made’. Puff skirts and very, very mini-dresses of huge volumes (one of them was so short that the model’s panties were visible – they were elegantly embellished with a rhinestone Eiffel Tower). Use of feathers, that referred to YSL’s autumn-winter 1987 and his costumes for Zizi Jeanmarie, was killer. Can’t get enough of all these boas, feather-y shoulders and thigh-high boots covered in plumage. That was so over-the-top. A fashion moment I anticipated so much, but thought will not happen in this decade. With his best collection up-to-date, Vaccarello really proves that Saint Laurent is the perfect place for him. Bravo.