Every season there is one stand-out collection that is so vigorously different from the mainstream that it makes ripples throughout the industry on multiple levels. For Fall/Winter 2015, this accolade went to Céline. Designer Phoebe Philo’s cerebral, provocative presentation explores the complexities of glamour, which turns out to have multifaceted results.
The Céline woman has long been a quiet style pioneer, but this season sees Philo trading in signature minimalism in favor of more voluminous shapes, drapes, and prints. While the collection is wonderfully creative and at times futuristic, there are a few ideas that are a little hard to pull off in real life. Her opening look is a good example. It’s a jaw-dropping number, to be sure, but the hand-swallowing bell cuff on Celine’s tight-fitting ribbed sweater is so impractical that the cuff seems unnecessary. Viewed from the side as the model strode by, the silhouette of the sleeve resembled an anvil swinging from the bottom of a fragile pendulum. There are a couple of illogical moments in the show, but even they couldn’t upend how tremendous the rest of the clothes were.
Cool shredded trousers decorated with shabby floral appliqués, color-blocked slip dresses, and paneled frocks with leather apron insets came next, which were interrupted by full animal print toppers and slinky mink trimmed coats. Intersected by space age crossbody packs, the looks came across as both futuristic and nomadic. It was a fantastic way to contrast the disparate elements in the collection, as were the surprising woodland creature prints that popped up on her cutaway blouses.
Another form of juxtaposition was found on the backs of each garment, which were undone and open, revealing glimpses of skin. Philo’s injection of wanton, unexpected elements changed the mood at the show. Instead of being buttoned-up and aloof, the Céline woman looks like she might have just slipped from bed and threw on whatever fabulously constructed garment was lying around. In her rush, she forgot to button-up and put every knot and sash in place. In some ways, she resembles the disheveled bedclothes she had just risen from. This sleepy-eyed route to glamour is one that women will welcome into their wardrobes.
Photos: Courtesy of Imaxtree