Pheobe Philo presents a Haute Couture collection of ingenious yet simple clothes.
©ourtesy of Lisa Armstrong | telegraph.co.uk
Paris Fashion Week for Fall 2012: Anna Wintour was overheard saying at the Celine presentation. “Can you please ensure all fashion shows are like this?” “This” being a tiny gathering of 30 editors; Paris Haute Couture fashion designer, Phoebe Philo at the door personally greeting everyone and looking much more at ease than she has in the past, when she has been coralled in the middle of a crush of admirers backstage at Celine’s bigger shows. The designer is due to give birth to her third child next month – a boy – and perhaps it was an extra need for calm that prompted this new approach. Whatever, the white cube of a room, with its polished concrete floors suited Philo’s almost-cube shapes. It would be fascinating to see her drawings: do they resemble a child’s first blocky scribbles? The concept for this fashion week collection – rectangular tops and masculine trousers with low crotches – was certainly boxy. Add leather – the fabric of the season – to the equation and you have the components for a entire warehouse of cardboard packing cases. [Paris Fashion Week: Celine autumn/winter 2012 in pictures] But Philo is more than a conceptualist. There was nothing stiff about those leather tunics, with their diagonal zips and funnel necks that undid to reveal a contrasting black or white accordian pleat inserts. As for the geometric patterned silk neck scarves – they turned out to be leather, just like the drapy looking “scarf” top. That’s a neat trick – and one that may fire at retail – but it also proves how much Philo has learned about her craft. And she has a real knack for colours too, this time, cornflower, burnt orange and heather-pink, worked in with the base notes of black, white and camel. Anyone who thought that Philo’s love affair with minimalism would run out of steam will be confounded by this: if anything, it’s forcing her to be ever more ingenious. Those zippers turned up on the backs of pea-coat style jackets where they functioned as little air vents, as well as that all-important non-status, status flash, and on a new flat, large clutch. Let’s not overstate the wearability of this collection however. Those creamy “cricket” jumpers were actually neoprene, and they were quite stiff. So too the seductively oversized cocoon coats in cornflower, pink or block colours. Make that supersized – they made even the models look Liliputian. But that’s not the point of a Celine show which serves increasingly as the brand’s manifesto. The real legislation – or wearability – kicks in at pre-collection, not forgetting our high street friends Zara and co, which will be all over those bags, coats, colors, tunics and half-wedge-half-heeled white court shoes. And if anyone wants further evidence that these clothes work in real life, Philo, bump neatly stowed under a long navy Celine jumper, black tuxedo pants and snakeskin sneakers just provided it.
*NOTE: Fashion Week show a Perfect Ten – Marking ten years at Lanvin, creative fashion director Alber Elbaz celebrated with some of his “greatest hits” for the label’s fall 2012 collection show. From sculpted silhouettes to jewel encrusted garments at this fall 2012 fashion week offered a new season which certainly had a festive feeling with a haute couture show of all skirts and dresses. Opening with vibrant jewel tones of electric blue, scarlet and canary yellow; body conscious silhouettes and luxe detailing such as dramatic ruffles, fur and lace accents dominated the runway. As the show progressed, the color palette became darker with inky blacks and metallic fabrics. Alber Elbaz topped off with gloves and chunky jewelry, the Lanvin woman looks ready to party for the autumn. Designer Alber Elbaz at Lanvin like the House of Christian Dior has a long history of Haute Couture in Paris. No different is this years shows at Paris Fashion Week. Even the newest French fashion designers showing for Fall 2012 have raised the bar. Paris fashion week Haute Couture has for a long time made the french famous for Haute Couture and showing other industry pros, how to get it right. Not only did Alber Elbaz offer a competitive edge but rivals like the House of CHANEL Haute Couture, heralded by Karl Lagerfeld who always promises to be a spectacle at every season’s runway show at Paris Fashion Week.
- Celine and Phoebe Philo ooze quiet confidence at Paris fashion week (guardian.co.uk)