Phoebe’s Immaculate Construction
Céline Vipiana founded her namesake fashion house, Céline in 1945 as a bastion for luxury children’s shoes. In the 1960s, she added accessories and women’s ready to wear to the delight of Paris’s most fashionable women. In essence, since the beginning, the name Céline has represented the chic and elegance of Parisian style.
Fast forward half a century later to 2010 when British fashion designer Phoebe Philo, as Céline’s Creative Director, presented her first collection to rave reviews. Since then Phoebe has been named Britain’s Designer of the Year and she is widely credited with transforming the French fashion house into a brand with a cult following. And even though Céline is difficult to find in America unless you happen to live in Miami, Washington, DC or New York City, it is beloved for it’s fresh, modern and minimalist take on power dressing with ease and sophistication.
A graduate of Central Saint Martins College in London, Phoebe has said that her minimalist aesthetic was greatly influenced by designers Helmut Lang and Jil Sander. What I love about Phoebe’s designs are the details of cut, draping, shape, fabric and the incredible construction. For Spring 2012, Phoebe showed volume at the shoulder, the hot trend peplum, cropped wide-legged pants, shirt backs with pleating and overall, a bit more edge. The accessories–the shoes and handbags–on the runway were also covetable and I’m sure already wait-listed.
At this point, I guess it goes without saying that I am a bit of a Philophile because I respect Phoebe’s attitude about work and family and her ideas about what constitutes real style. I also respect that Phoebe is a very private person and seldom grants extensive interviews, but I thought it might be nice to share some of her enlightening statements through the years on fashion, the industry, the legend of Céline and her creative process along with a few looks from her recent Spring 2012 presentation.
“Céline was founded by a woman and what it stood for historically was clothes for women by women.”
“I’ve always been attracted to the wilder things, but not when it comes to my own work. I’ve always had a sense that if I can’t wear it, what’s the point.”
“I felt quite clear from the offset about what I wanted to do in terms of fashion or certainly what I didn’t want. I wanted something that felt honest, that was a mixture of what I want to wear and how I want to live. I felt it needed to be quite simple and very real”
“My happiest memories at school were of art. This is just an extension of that. I mean, I love the idea of turning an idea into something women wear.”
“It’s really not relevant to me what Céline has been or where it is going. It will be whatever I make it for the time I’m there.”
Fashion Photos: Style
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