What's the best way of reacting against the tide of Philo/Céline-isms that have dominated the collections since her arrival at the house? Going in a direction that whilst isn’t exactly a volte face, will furrow the brows of her hardcore fans, the women who have worshipped her clean and spare lines and hardened edges. There were definitely quizzical brows when the mink lined sandals dubbed the 'furkinstocks' came schlepping out and even bemusement at the Big Bird yellow fur covered court shoes. Those attention grabbing moments of oddness may have momentarily diverted people's eyes away from the clothes but there was no getting away from the evocative mood of the collection. It was appealingly slouchier, softer and far more intimate than Philo's previous collections. If the Céline woman looked almost untouchable before, this time round, she showed her vulnerable side. She's relaxing at home, enjoying her family (Philo is devoted to her own brood as last season's proper show absence can attest) and gets to wear slouchy satin trousers that look almost crumpled in places. The satin twist tops and dresses are slightly disheveled in their appearance, which is a brave thing to try to do with a fabric that you'd normally wish to appear perfect. That was the thing. This was a collection that lauded imperfection. A magnoila duster house coat that's meant to flap around loosely as it does not have any buttons. A cropped white sweatshirt or a dropped-waisted dress finished with raw edges and yet looked elegant. Silk charmeuse that appeared to be a little wrinkled as though the wearer had taken a little power nap. The palette was also domestic shades of pale pink and champagne gold like nostalgic lingerie, magnolia, beige and of course her stable black, white and navy that her devotees love. Philo has been speaking to women through her clothes, servicing real needs of practicality, elegance and striking the right balance between femininity and masculinity. This collection does all of that but with the added touch of empathy for women who perhaps don't fit the uber-chic mould of Philo's Céline woman. That felt like perfection.
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