For a designer to abandon their established aesthetic suspends that person for a moment in a cloud of speculative front row whispers. But after the fashion pack saw the last of the Céline Spring/Summer 2014 collection today, the speculation was over. The pronouncement: Phoebo Philo’s latest efforts are nothing short of a tour de force. Gone was her minimalist blueprint. For next season, Philo’s gone postmodern.
Philo, inspired by the works of 1920s Parisian graffiti artist, Brassai, slashed her collection with powerful paint strokes, abstract scribbles, and a primary palette that punches up the presentation. This move feels fresh and inspired, even taking into consideration the existing popularity of geometric abstraction on the runway. Her clothes were touched with hints of prep, in the form of modest lengths and Peter Pan collars. Transparency is still on-message for next season, but Philo abandons sheer fabrics for hems that end in a mess of wide netting. Jumpers and pleated halter-neck tunics were breezy and cool, while plaids, argyle prints, and circular cut-outs were used to enhance Philo’s artistically arranged pairings. The strongest looks here were in outerwear: her soft coats, paint-splattered blazers, and lacquered leather jackets were are all achingly sophisticated. Céline also makes a strong showing in the accessories department with flat totes, squashed leather handbags, and huge tribal jewelry accents. While Philo’s move away from minimalism was a surprise, it doesn’t represent a complete divorce from her overall aesthetic. In fact, Céline is represented in the cut and tailoring as strongly as ever.
Photos: Courtesy of GoRunway