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Céline's Phoebe Philo Forges Familiar Path

Following a familiar path, Phoebe Philo delivered a collection for the woman who likes her luxury understated, but still statement-making, looking for comfort but not at the sacrifice of style, writes Jessica Michault for Nowfashion.com.
Céline Autumn/Winter 2014 | Source: Nowfashion.com
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  • Nowfashion

PARIS, France — The Céline venue this season, with its tropical greenery, bright lighting and its aged parquet flooring, created the atmosphere of a chic indoor garden of some wealthy woman who appreciates minimalism with a bit of flair.

In other words — the Céline woman.

She who likes her luxury understated but still statement-making, looking for comfort but not at the sacrifice of style. A woman that forges her own fashion path with no regard to what the rest of the industry is up to. Basically, designer Phoebe Philo, who has turned the Céline brand into a mirror image of herself.

This time what Philo wants, in a world full of oversized outerwear, are some leaner hourglass coats with big button closures that double as embellishments, curving up to the shoulder in contrasting colors. She is feeling the need for long form, fitting ribbed knit sweaters that break open at the hip, have hand-masking sleeves and forgo elbow patches for exposed skin. Her trousers come cut full and high up on the waist, or flared and knitted (a look also seen at Marc Jacobs — so a shape to watch). Skirts are all about panels of fabric breaking apart for a graphic effect that was echoed in some gingham tops.

Last season’s painterly brush stroke patterns made way for jungle cat spots, subtly smudged to dilute their powers, which was not the case for the dramatic, almost porcupine quill-like feather embellishments that sprouted out of the final three looks.

As for the always-inventive accessories, the designer seems to feel that winter sandals are the way to go. Platformed up to keep feet dry when walking through winter snow. And that all important Céline bag? Its triangular shape has a clever, crafty feel to it. As if it came in a flat pack that, by folding the leather together and holding it in place with big button fixtures at the base, would transform into an instant classic.

This Céline show was less of a go-getter when compared to its powerful predecessor. It's not going to push anyone’s buttons. But it sure will sell well when it hits the stores next season.

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