For the past year, under Philo’s creative directorship, the French luxury label has become eminently desirable. The British-born designer Phoebe Philo currently whips up a not-so-quiet storm at Celine. With some anticipation that the fashion world gathered en masse at the Tennis Club in Paris yesterday to see what this influential designer had to offer for spring/summer 2011.Despite a more colorful and light-hearted mood elsewhere, Philo is clearly sticking to her guns and a no-frills, highly rigorous aesthetic more tastefully proportioned and elegant than ever dominated.
Celine denim looked suitably dressed down for weekend wear. A black crepe jumpsuit with a slick racer back and nothing but a gleaming gold zip interrupting its immaculate surface was the ultimate in modern evening attire. The new Celine look may seem accessible and therein lies at least part of its seductive power, appearances may be deceptive. There are very few women tall, slender or indeed stylish enough to carry off such a specific silhouette. The preternaturally chic Philo is one and that message was driven home neatly when she stepped out to take her bows.
He was quick to point out, however, that any concept was approached in an abstract as opposed to literal manner. The very precise ritual of kimono-wrapping, for example, was merely hinted at in fragile, broderie anglaise trimmed panels encasing the torso of a shirt or dress. For all the complexity of ideas and construction at the heart of this collection, the most remarkable thing about it was lightness – despite a process that is extremely painstaking.