Phoebe Philo presented her Céline Resort collection in New York back in June, but has only now released photos of the clothes. At the time, there was speculation that copying was a concern for the house. A drive-by of the fast-fashion chains, where Céline knockoffs are hot commodities, backs up that claim. More than four months after the fact, what was Philo's message?
One thing Resort wasn't was an early sampling of the collection she showed in Paris last month. Spring was a bold departure for Céline, not only in terms of color and pattern, both of which were exuberant to the extreme, but also in terms of silhouette. Philo's snug-at-the-hip tanks and tunics and asymmetric-hemmed, pleated accordion skirts will no doubt prove directional, and probably not just on the high street. Compared to the art-infused, somewhat tribal look of the show from which those pieces came, Philo's propositions for Resort felt more familiar, if not necessarily safe. There was the off-kilter suiting her customers have come to know and love, super-luxe furs worn with the unassuming ease of a cardigan (NB: the shower shoes), slightly oversize men's coats, and slouchy pants pooling at the ankles. She had a lot of fun with long belts and D-rings, occasionally cinching more than one around the waist. Pockets, too, turned up in odd places, like below the knees on a pair of cargo pants.
Philo didn't rewrite fashion history here, but she did rethink the rules in terms of marketing her brand's imagery and image. That'll be fodder for fashion folk, the same way that her hemlines are.