Celine’s New Direction for Fall/Winter 2017 Gets Literal

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A directional collection and a spectacular vantage point brought a frisson of thrill to the Céline catwalk for Fall/Winter 2017.

The majority of runway shows are rather static affairs. Models march in single file down the catwalk and back, and again as a group for a final look. A few deviate from this norm, asking their models to criss-cross large venues in complicated patterns like at Proenza Schouler, or take the opportunity to stage entertaining theatrics like at Rick Owens. Few have braved a new way of looking at a collection altogether, unless you count some of Alexander McQueen’s more avant-garde shows like ‘Voss” for Spring/Summer 2001 where a glass box with a reflective exterior singled out models and showed the audience their own images back to them.

Phoebe Philo joins the ranks of McQueen in distilling her Fall/Winter 2017 show into something more extraordinary, placing her audience on enormous turntables and having her models walk every which way, sometimes solo or other times clustering together. This is the way one might view streetwear if they were flying a drone; it gave the clothes tangible circumference and dimensionality. A directional collection and a spectacular vantage point brought a frisson of thrill to the Céline catwalk.

Céline Fall/Winter 2017
Photo: Courtesy of WGSN

Direction was an all-encompassing theme, perhaps drawn from Céline’s reluctant participation in the digital age with its first Instagram account. It seems like Philo’s mind is on the future: how we arrived here so suddenly, more interconnected and more distant than ever before, and where we might be going. She printed maps on shirt dresses to guide the way and provided plenty of modern nomad tunics, crinkled all-weather jackets, and versatile suiting for the trip. Big blankets outfitted with diner-menu prints were the kind of creature comforts one might crave on a long journey.

This is the way one might view streetwear if they were flying a drone; it gave the clothes tangible circumference and dimensionality.

There was a sense of rushing and arriving at one’s destination imbued in the collection, which is why luxe fur coats were thrown over minimalist suiting like an afterthought – Céline’s woman might have just stepped off a plane and into a cab line in an outfit like this. The collection was sensationally wearable and well-fitted, and even her dresses seemed primed for a last-minute thrown-together look for a night on the town. Seen from all angles thanks to the rotating platforms upon which Céline’s guests sat, the audience was given a unique perspective on how functional and well-tailored this collection was.

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