Despite reports earlier this year citing the opposite, Phoebe Philo is still the creative director at Céline, and no one is happier about this than me. Ok, maybe her bosses, but then me. On Sunday in Paris she showed the brand’s Fall 2016 collection. The clothes were strong and the messages were subtle. And this is what Céline is known for – Philo is not reinventing the brand’s direction every season, she is making clothes for women who know themselves. Albeit expensive clothes, very expensive clothes. Make no mistake about this, but Philo incorporates pragmatism in her own way.
For Summer 2016 Philo included boots in the collection. Boots for summer? Not exactly. In my opinion, this is the brand’s response to the confusing fashion cycle. Philo and her team know that the “Summer” collection has been in stores already for weeks. And we are all still wearing boots. Without some loud proclamation about the system, she is subtly responding to the delivery dates. She did the same thing for Fall, pairing slit-flared pants with sandals. She also presented the V neck pumps from Spring again – her version of continuity much appreciated by those who have already purchased a pair.
Céline‘s customers know the pricepoint, and unless you are on the Forbes’ Richest list one must carefully choose their pieces each season. They also know that with the price tag they are getting the best quality. Exquisite fabric and construction have long been pillars of the brand’s ethos. This speaks to why the collections, while seasonal, remain seasonless. A Céline woman’s wardrobe builds upon itself. While season-defining trends come out of a Celine collection, the consistency of comfort and strength are what speak to me. Philo has so clearly defined the Celine woman outside of her clothes as well: confident. It takes a confident woman to heed the noise of so many designers, collections, and clothes and commit to a brand that is steady, yet unconventional. Especially in our peacocking digital times where more is more.
I got really worried when rumors began Philo was leaving for Alaia. And not completely for selfish reasons, but because Philo herself is Céline. I appreciate her commitment to the lifestyle the brand conveys and its place in the fashion industry. I was worried that she might have wanted to get in on the huge business of promoting herself outside the brand like so many designers do, but instead Philo and Céline continues to send the message of substance.