Phoebe Philo is back, and that’s the Monday morning news I’m here for! The British designer is returning to fashion after a three-year hiatus, not as the creative director of a major luxury house, but as the majority owner of her clothing and accessories label “rooted in exceptional quality and design“. Since Philo’s 2017 exit from Céline, where she delivered incredible, intelligent and refined clothes loved by women across the world, industry insiders have speculated about her next move (remember the Chanel and Alaïa rumours?). But the designer has maintained a low profile, quietly building the Phoebe Philo Studio from her London base. “I am very much looking forward to being back in touch with my audience and people everywhere. To be independent, to govern and experiment on my own terms is hugely significant to me“, she said in an announcement shared with The Business of Fashion. Fashion will make sense again in January 2022, as the first details of Philo’s brand are unveiled. So many questions. Will Phoebe go Old Céline 2.0. or revive her 2000s Chloé years style? Maybe Daria Werbowy, the ultimate Philo model, will return to the public eye? I expect the unexpected!
Above photo by Juergen Teller for Purple Magazine.
A few days ago I asked you on my Instagram stories to pick one of your favourite collections ever and I would make a collage with it. Here’s Here’s @kenzasafsaf’s choice: Phoebe Philo‘s sublime, forever desirable, swan song collection for Céline. Take a look back at it here.
More of your choices are coming in the following days! If you missed the game, you can still write me your favourite collection and I will do the work. Got plenty of time. Culture isn’t cancelled, fashion isn’t cancelled!
Believe it or not – I can’t! – but we’re heading towards a new millenium. So, how do you choose the most important collections, designers and labels of the decade? The ones that made an actual impact in the 2010s? Well, it’s not an easy task. It all began in September 2009 with New York’s spring-summer 2010 shows and ended when the autumn-winter 2019 haute couture shows wrapped in Paris. Few thousands of shows, by the way. There will be 19 posts (that’s really the only possible minimum!) reminding about the best – and if not the best, then strongly influencing – moments in fashion.
Phoebe Philo‘s Céline.
This one is no surprise to anyone who reads my journal for a longer while. Phoebe Philo’s contribution to 2010s fashion – through the medium of Céline – is exceptionally significant. Phoebe’s fashion wasn’t minimalist as many tend to sum up. It was eclectic. Intelligent. Feminist. Feminine. Intimate. Lasting. Beautiful. From all the photoshop-free Juergen Teller ad campaigns (feauturing Phoebe’s favourite women like Daria Werbowy and Joan Didion) and store interiors (they felt like home!) to the music playing during the fashion shows (Cymande’s “Dove“, Soul II Soul’s “Back To Life“, Method Man and Mary J. Blige’s “I’ll Be There For You / You’r All I Need to Get By”…) and the shockingly rare on-line shop absence for an established label like this, Philo’s Céline was the ultimate favourite of many people (including me) for different reasons. While Phoebe is still off the fashion horizon, just look at all the brands that turn to her collections for inspiration (or actually try to copy her…). Yes, yes, we’ve got Daniel Lee’s Bottega Veneta, Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen’s The Row, Christophe Lemaire and Sarah Linh Tran’s Lemaire. But I really, really, really hope that 2020 will see Phoebe Philo’s comeback. Dreams come true!
Collage by Edward Kanarecki. Photos by Juergen Teller and Tyrone Lebon.
There’s one fashion wish for 2019 that’s on my mind… Phoebe Philo‘s return. The cut of this Céline (still with the accent) pre-fall 2018 blazer is perfection, just like the matching pants and the model, Karolin Wolter. New Year’s Eve look, maybe?