Ten years – a decade – means really something in fashion industry. Phoebe Philo’s era at Céline didn’t only change the course of fashion (minimal-slash-arty aesthetic; raw, Juergen Teller-like advertising; presenting pre-collections just before they hit the stores – many other labels follow Philo’s ‘rules’ like a prophet), but the way women approach clothing. Once the Céline woman goes for masculine, XXL coats that continue to sell like hot buns since Philo’s collections in 2010; then, the other time she takes a delicate slip-dress with lace inserts or a clingy, knitted sweater in olive-green. In her feature on Philo’s power, Cathy Horyn stated in the following way: Philo’s clothes were not just simply for women; they were also about women — their distractions, their routines, the way they stuff a bag under an arm or concoct an outfit out of a dress and trousers, their sideways longing for red-lipped glamour, their disdain for basics, their love of uniforms, their wisdom and maturity. Unlike other designers who do ready-to-wear, Phoebe didn’t bother with ‘telling stories’ – she just wanted the clothes to become a woman’s close friend.
For me, her collections were the most anticipated moments during Paris fashion weeks, while the look-books were always like a sweet treat. Whether we’re speaking of Philo’s spring-summer 2013 fur-lined Birkenstock sandals, autumn-winter 2017 green blankets, autumn-winter 2015 white sneakers or spring-summer 2017 mega-big tote bag, it’s undisputable: she is the master of desirable, yet unconventional accessories. My heart bleeds, when I think of all the beautiful things Philo gave us while at helm of the maison. The rumour has it that the designer isn’t planning to lead a label anytime soon. Although that sounds devastating, it makes sense: Phoebe Philo frequently highlighted her urge for ‘slowing down’. Today’s fashion is at a insanely pointless, fast pace. I hope that 2018 will become some kind of ‘breaking’ year for all that.
Below, I’m looking back at some of my favourite Phoebe-at-Céline wonders.
Pre-fall 2010; SS10; pre-fall 2010.
AW10; pre-fall 2011; AW10.
Resort 2016; AW16; resort 2016.
AW16; SS17 jewellery; SS17.
Pre-fall 2017; SS17; pre-fall 2017.
SS13; resort 2014; resort 2015.
AW17; pre-fall 2017; AW17.
SS14; SS13; SS14.
AW14; AW15; AW14.
All collages by Edward Kanarecki. Ad campaigns by Jurgen Teller and Tyrone Lebon.
Since Céline opened its on-line store, it’s worth checking out their site from time to time. Even if you can’t afford one of those perfects coats or knits with foulard inserts, the brand will treat you with some very. very lovely visuals (probably taken by Juergen Teller). I’m enchanted with Charlee Fraser and the bangles shot, just like with the entire resort 2018 collection. Enjoy!
P.s. It’s official – Phoebe Philo leaves Céline. A huge, tribute post is coming up. But let’s feel the festive mood for now and leave the sorrows for later…
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.