Besides Chanel, there may be no hotter ticket in Paris than a chance to witness a new collection from Phoebe Philo‘s Céline at the Tennis Club de Paris. The brand’s cult following has reached frenzied proportions. “It’s a Célineeeeee” you can hear one fashion insider saying to another of a clothing piece or an accessory, with purposefully placed emphasis to express that yes, they’re in possession of one of the coveted items.
Last season, Philo debuted arty splashes of color and long tops worn over long skirts (a look that has already been endlessly imitated on other runways), but this season was much more minimalist. The theme was all about the working woman, which was emphasized by a Kate Bush song, “This Woman’s Work”, playing in the background. “She makes it a lifestyle. She makes it work, the clothes, that’s why we like it so much. She represents a modern designer,” said stylist Anna Dello Russo. “She has the collection of course, but she has a family, she has a job, she has a real life. I think what I love about Celine is that it’s the opposite of the red carpet and celebrity. It’s about real fashion and it’s chic and timeless, but with lots of modernity inside.” That meant clean looks, like a simple white dress with a tiered, fringed hemline, a sleek white top and pants with black button details down the left side, and red or a black tunics with cut-outs at the waist worn over floor-length flowy white skirts. “I thought it was really strong, clean, and powerful and I love the shoes,” said Marie Claire EIC Anne Fulenwider. “I’m obsessed with those unbelieveable shoes and those round bags.” The shoes to obsess over were elastic slip on ballet slippers that had a chunky heel and the bags were simple round bags with one looped handle (next seasons “it” bag, no doubt). “I love her streamlined silhouettes; they’re very powerful. I love the way that she embellishes things, but it’s still paired down,” said Marie Claire‘s creative director Nina Garcia.
There were also floral pieces, which certainly seemed out of Philo’s comfort zone. Naturally, the results were lustworthy. The very simple mix of floral patterns on a dress revealed a darker, bigger pattern beneath a lighter, more minute floral layered on top. It’s simple subtleties and new, uncomplicated ways of looking at fashion that keep Philo revered (rightfully so) by the industry.