I’m the world’s first to say that I’ve swayed hither and dither over Celine’s collections in the past and their sharp minimalism that’s seemingly so un-me. Yet I can appreciate fabulously honed design that’s been thought-through to the nth, leaving nothing to chance and certainly nothing in excess. What Phobe Philo seems to have in heaps, is taste – refined, approved and stamped by the haute fashion elechons, witty furry shoes (S/S’13) and all.
Never mind, Philo has ditched the jolly humour of the big yellow duster shoes and has gone all laundromat bag and melted wool chic on us. And she makes it so covetable it has to be one of the shows of the season it its difference, its vision and its ability to make simple statements so groundbreakingly obvious.
This season’s Celine woman’s cut wool preciseness says a thing or three about her character – I am rich, I have taste, I know myself enough to impress yet not to be swayed by bling, I am serious. Celine’s new version of serious luxe has a tad of the ‘sackloths and ashes’ about it, yet these garms are strewn from tightly packed mohair, fine melted wool (the type that makes you squirm to think of catching a nail in it), and soft fake fur that hung in folds, reworked into day dresses and paired with olive clunky leather boots. Celine’s finesse is its cerebral difficulty. Taking over the mantle from Prada as the thinking woman’s wardrobe, Celine’s deliberate play at ‘un-sexy’ makes it sexy by default.
The perfect pitch of plaid check against opposing plaid check in the laundromat bag coat, lined in white piping and severely serious made this one of the most standout pieces of the collection. Celine roundly concentrated on the coat – voluminous, comforting, three-quarter sleeved ’50s influenced A-line, swing coats that concentrated on form and architecture and little else were breathtaking to behold.
Soft squishy bags were clutched to the chest against funnel wraps and funnel necked tops that acted as grown-up swaddling. The simple colour palette of navy, cream, ivory, olive, grey and pale lemon only further emphasised that this collection was made for business not play, though there were the odd simple shifts thrown in for good measure. This was the polar opposite of spangliness and T.O.W.I.E/girl-band like letting-it-all-hang-out-there in mentality. And this is why Celine is important. It takes faith, belief and vision to wear as well as strength of personality and wallet.
If anything, Celine has walked away with the triumph of having editors salivate over what they would like to be wearing from this collection next season. The most common answer was all-of-it. Take a bow Ms Philo.
Catwalk images used by kind permission of www.style.com