Queen Elizabeth II’s New Year Honours list for 2014 includes Céline’s creative director, Phoebe Philo. Phoebe departed from Chloe in Spring 2006 to focus on her family and despite the industry’s worry that such a talent would never return, this lady made a quiet but highly acclaimed re-entry for Resort 2010 at the helm of the LVMH-owned luxury label and now her mighty brilliance has been made official by HRH. Congrats!
Phoebe Philo [Rex]
Since joining Céline, Phoebe has led the charge for a luxe fashion reduction, where quality and craftsmanship have outdone fast paced trends and ever-changing must-haves. Her classic shoulder bags from the first season are still as coveted now. Many of her proportions, colour combinations and silhouettes remain interchangeable; so should you be in the market for building a Céline wardrobe piece by piece, you can continue to do so quite easily.
The fashion world’s praise hasn’t abated since her appointment and for the coming season Philo defied all ultra-minimal expectations to send a riot of primary colours, graphic prints and sharp textures down the runway. Consider her the beacon – making a bold statement is in. In a relatively small amount of time Philo has generated more trends than an Alexa-Chung-Kate-Moss lovechild. Here are a few of our favourites...
1. REMARKABLE MINIMALISM:
Phoebe's first collection for Céline - Resort 2010 [Style.com]
Muted colours and classic tailoring prevailed through many an early season at Céline. That wasn’t to say that print, detailing or more intricate pattern cutting didn’t or couldn't play a part, it’s just that the role would be kept small but powerful within a range instead of overbearing.
2. WHITE SHOES:
Phoebe dipped a confident toe into the fashion faux pas back in 2011 and ever since white shoes have been able to shed their less than favourable connotations to be taken seriously as the clinical-but-cool footwear that they really can be.
3. NU-GRAFFITI AND OTHER IT PRINTS:
Spring/Summer 2014 [Jason Lloyd Evans]
The graff prints and spinning primary of next season’s collection are going to be on every cover of every magazine in next few weeks, mark our words! This is the first season a Céline collection has centred around surface patterns, but key prints have before emerged as winning items in other collections: from the floral printed leather biker of Resort 2012 to the artisanal tile-prints of Spring 2011 (and modelled by Kanye West, remember?)
Some of Phoebe's other key prints for Céline [Style.com]
4. THE ALT TUX:
This tux was a first season smash [Style.com]
This putty coloured tux jacket was one of Phoebe’s biggest and earliest Céline hits. It reintroduced the idea of such a smart jacket for day, and paved the way for mix’n’match tailoring.
5. GIANT COATS:
Autumn/Winter 2013's big coats got a big thumbs up [Jason Lloyd Evans]
'Twas first the camel coat that ruled the Céline roost, since then Philo’s outerwear has arrived in many guises and most of them BIG. Her A/W’13 cocoon coats have inspired many a copycat and are bound to keep the most stylish front row goers warm come February’s potentially snowy show schedule.
[Main images: Jason Lloyd Evans. Cutout image: Style.com]
The ugly-chic shoe may have the DNA of Miuccia Prada practically engrained, but it was Phoebe Philo who put the slider – and it’s more affordable alternative Birkenstock – onto the fashion menu. Her fur-lined slip-on sandals were the perfect foil for the girly disco satins of last summer’s collection.
7. LEATHER EVERYTHING:
The brand’s heritage lies in footwear, so it’s no wonder the leather is good at Céline. No longer just for biker jackets, Philo has created many an all-weather-leather dress, skirt or trouser.
8. TROUSER DRESSING:
Being the savvy designer that she is, you will find skirts and dresses within every Céline offering, but it’s the trouser that features most prominently. Whether cropped suited and booted, layered with a tunic or worn big’n’baggy, Phoebe’s pant repertoire is full.
9. RETURN OF THE CAMI:
[Jason Lloyd Evans]
Spaghetti straps, silk satin and a plunging mesh V made for Phoebe’s modern interpretation of this revamped ‘90s number.
10. MERMAID SKIRTS:
[Catwalking, Jason Lloyd Evans]
The fluted-but-austere skirts of A/W’13 has spawned imitations but the genuine article will guarantee an in-the-know nod for seasons to come. Flattering, feminine but not fancy.
11. CLASSIC BAGS:
From the three-pocketed pouch to a simple zip-top clutch, the super-size Phantom tote to the Classic box bag, a Céline bag comes with a significant price tag, but a life-long guarantee of chic.