Pin It
Céline AW15, Runway, Womenswear, Paris
Céline AW15

Céline AW15

Come undone: Phoebe Philo offers a ‘tattered’ take on glamour, injecting sexuality into her minimalist oeuvre

Initial reaction:

On International Women’s Day, Phoebe Philo chose to give her women options – and plenty of them. You could have been something close to sexy (as ‘sexy’ as Céline would allow you to be), with a slip dress undone at the back with loosened ties flailing and wife-beater vests worn to reveal new erogenous zones around the lower back. You could have been playful with a painterly image of a ferret, an otter or a hare printed on silks or scarves that bounced with giant pom poms. You could have felt protected and cocooned with giant fur collared coats, elongated knits and harness holsters. You could have been comfortable with a giant bucket bag slung over the shoulder and flat slip-on shoes that have now become something of a classic Céline item. You could have revealed and concealed all at once – in padded dresses with cut-off sleeves unbuttoned at the shoulders which looked to be inspired by fencing jackets. Philo answered journalists’ questions backstage with more questions. “When’s it too much? When is it enough? When is it authentic for Céline?” The designer chimed in with this season’s idea of ‘anything goes’, and also proposed that you should take what you want from this collection and that you shouldn’t be dictated to – a fitting sentiment on a day that celebrates women, their choices and their freedom. 

Remade and redone:

Broken terracotta and white flooring, and crackle glazed stools in marbled colours conjured up somewhere warm, homely and inviting – much like the collection that Philo summed up as her way of resolving an idea of glamour, by making it “tattered”. Hence the disheveled fabrics, washed embroideries and the faded prints. She wasn’t referencing any historical epoch but her clothes had a worn-in quality that made them feel like they had lived another life – not dissimilar to the tiles that we walked and sat on. The Mexican folk song “Cucurrucucú Paloma” remixed and recut, also echoed the feeling of the clothes – something familiar remade and redone until it felt new again. 

The fine line between sexy and sensual:

“There’s a lot of sensuality and sexuality,” said Philo. “I feel like I’m always on guard for the Céline woman to be sexualised. Is that womanly? Is that girly?” More questions from the designer, as she seemed to be toying with the idea of injecting sexiness without falling too far into a realm that she has adamantly shied away from since the beginning of her minimal oeuvre at the house. By leaving things “undone” – strings and ties left untied, loose bras layered over tops, vests with holes cut into them, floral and feather embroideries with sections missing – Philo communicated her take on the discomforting nature of being sexy. What emerged was a woman at ease with this mix.