Directions from Paris
Phoebe Philo changes tack for the cold weather to come, writes Laura Craik.
Viewing the guests at the Celine show in Paris during fashion week it was tempting to imagine that skate shoes, cropped black trousers and austere shirts were being handed out at the door. That most female guests were wearing them demonstrated the power of Phoebe Philo, the British designer who has reshaped Celine since her appointment in 2008.
Few designers could persuade women to ditch their beloved skinny jeans for that most maligned of trouser styles, the boot-cut flare. Yet this is the key shape that Philo is putting forward for next autumn.
Slim-legged trousers that bloomed into a flare abounded, in black, white and a beige marl. Many came in a thickribbed knit that clung to the body like a second skin. Ribbed knitwear was a recurring theme, much of it recalling the early work of Joseph Ettedgui, the influential founder of the Joseph retail empire.
In many ways this was the most commercial collection that Philo has done for some time. At its heart was a series of great coats, some calf-length, narrow at the waist and with a row of off-centre buttons. Others were shorter, decorated with what looked like tiny feathers, until closer inspection revealed the strands to be loose threads. There were also some cocoon-shaped coats with drawstring hems.
It was Philo who proposed the Vans skate shoe as a trend, as well as the Birkenstock sandal. Both went on to become ubiquitous in chain stores and high-end designer stores.
Next on her list for a remake is the Dr Marten. Apart from the boots themselves, the brand’s distinctive yellow stitching was a recurring motif, decorating the platformsoled sandals that were worn with almost every look.