Much in the way Stella McCartney brought new life to Chloe when she took over for Karl Lagerfeld, Phoebe Philo – who worked under, and later took the reigns from McCartney at Chloe – has brought a new vibrancy to Celine.
Since taking over in September 2008, Philo has succeeded where her predecessor, Ivana Omazić, failed. Philo has transformed Celine into one of the most important luxury brands today, and not simply for ready-to-wear women’s fashion.
In fact, nearly every major editor has carried a Celine bag during the whirlwind that is Fashion Month (just take one look at Bill Cunningham’s Fashion Week photographs).
For Spring 2011, Philo loosened up her structured two-handle handbag silhouette in favor of an over-sized, envelope-like clutch.
The new style also has a removable strap, allowing it also to function as a day bag. This silhouette’s status as the next “it” bag is all but sealed.
It wasn’t only the handbags that loosened up for Spring 2011. In everything from pants to caftan-like tops, the silhouette this season was cool and relaxed.
The sportswear-inspired looks stuck to a light color palette, but also featured pops of deep blue, orange, and burgundy, as a well as graphic geometric prints.
The collection ended with daywear, so don’t expect to see any celebrities wearing a Celine gown to a red carpet awards ceremony anytime soon.
Philo’s brand of minimalism is so precise and focused that I couldn’t help but think of the early days of Jil Sander. It was wonderful to see a designer let her tailoring and silhouettes speak for themselves.