WHO RUN THE WORLD Phoebe Philo reinvents the Céline woman with a bold play on silhouettes. By Sharmita Summugam.
Céline Summer ’16 Small Trotteur Shoulder Bag in Orange and White Printed Watersnake, Céline
Phoebe Philo has always taken Céline to new heights, building on the brand’s contemporary philosophy. There was no one theme to define the entire Summer ’16 collection; it was a breath of fresh air, with looks for the It Girl about town, the mogul, the adventurer, and the all-round woman. It was a collection that perfectly understood the relationship between a woman and her clothes. Each look was imbued with the spirit of a chic wanderer in both design and aesthetic; from bold puff sleeves to tapered loose trousers, leather and lace slips, utilitarian boots, A-lined coats with tight elastic waistlines, and dresses that graced the runway in awkward but absolutely chic lengths. This was a complete contrast to the backdrop of the runway show. Philo enlisted Danish artist, Thomas Poulsen, better known as FOS, to create the space. Poulsen is no stranger to Céline and its aesthetics, for he was the ingenious creative mind behind the newly revamped Céline flagship boutique in London. He is known to create socially engaging environments, like he did with the Céline store, as well as the floating bar he created for the Danish Pavilion at the 2011 Venice Biennale. This time round, Poulsen and Philo created a unique space – sheets in shades of blue, orange, and yellow hung from riggings all around and in between the space, reminiscent of a music festival. Paired with the standout beats conceived by both visionaries, the scene was set.
Models strode down the runway in tight Sade-esque braids and hot red lips that evoked the strong Céline woman, in a collection with ’80s-influenced elements, necklines from the Victorian era, hand-sewn leather shoes, tartan patterns inspired by the Scots, and boots with gold rivets and chains that could work as brooches.
On the leather goods front, Céline icons such as the Luggage, Trapeze, and Medium Classic were revamped. The stars of the show, in my opinion, were two bags – the Pillow bag, a rectangular lambskin leather bag that is as comfortable as the name suggests, is sure to be a hit with the fashionable jet-setters; and the Holdall, also known as the origami bag, has detachable leather flaps that surround the bottom half of the tote.
It was a very different spectacle from last season; Philo placed an emphasis on silhouettes in this monochrome collection, with the occasional earthy tones and accents of red, paving the way for the ultimate Céline woman who is not afraid to be bold in her choices of self-expression.
The Céline show space by Danish artist FOS and
2 1. Tight braids
at Céline Summer ’16 2. The new Céline Holdall shoulder bag
3. Céline Pillow bag
4. Elastic waistband coat