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Céline Womenswear S/S12

Phoebe Philo's steadfast focus pays off in her own play on waist-centric femininity

In a season that is torrid with print, colour and motifs, you have to be incredibly tunnel-visioned to ignore all of that and strip it right back to silhouette and play only subtly with colour. Then again, we're talking about Phoebe Philo who has converted a legion of women to being trussed up in a rigorously elegant and discreet wardrobe cornerstones. Despite an all floral look popping up in the preceding resort collection what Phoebe Philo showed yesterday was a solidly focused collection that revolved around silhouette above all else. A wide belt cinching in the waist gave new meaning to mid-20th-century new look, when sat on top of a rounded shouldered stiff safari jacket with enlarged pockets and cuffs. The roundness became a theme for the collection. 

The strictly straight lines of Philo's work at Céline softened into undulating ruffle trains and peplums that never felt frivolous and instead gave a reduced context her crisply cut cotton tunics and silk satin tops that flared out from the bust down. There was an aerated movement in the collection, loosened up from last season's high-collared rigor. Wide legged trousers were stiffened at the bottom, skirts often came with knife pleats and an A-line shape and her belted leather t-shirts were generously cut at the sleeves. The movement of the girls suggested a working woman's wardrobe that the audience were eying up for next season already and when topped off with practical chunky ankle-strapped heels that were as solid as the rest of the collection, you can already see the waiting lists forming tout suite.