What does Celine stand for? It's been two seasons since Ivana Omazic was installed at the French house, replacing Roberto Menichetti, who, in turn, took the design reins from Michael Kors. Her grace period is up, without a clear indication that she¿s capable of answering that tough question. Tough because, let's face it, both of her more seasoned predecessors were just as unsure about how the future of this once well-known handbag brand should proceed.
To be fair, her new collection compared favorably to a spring line that suffered from too loud colors, a numbing repetitiveness, and an over-reliance on styling tricks. (Although this show had the latter, too, in the form of wooden bangles stacked seven to a wrist.) One positive development here was the way the herringbone suits with portrait collars and cropped pants riffed on the current menswear trend. Her trenches could stand up to those of her competitors, too. And the show's wide crocodile belts will make a sexy contribution to that crowded category.
More frequently, though, Omazic went astray. In a season when fur is key, there were but two minks on her runway, andcuriously for a fall showshe sent out a seemingly endless parade of breezy chiffon, most of it in that fast-becoming-overexposed color combo, nude and black, or not much better, turquoise. And where were the bags? An oversize duffel does not an accessories business make. Her audience will take a lot of convincing, but let's hope the third time's the charm for this newcomer.