Phoebe Philo is hitting a spot that almost no one else manages to reach. Her unerring instinct for everything that's great to wear right nowand how to put it all togetherhas hit a groove of loose, effortless loveliness. And her spring collection could only be described as possessing the ineffable quality of "It."
Philo's deft handling of gently gathered washed-silk skirts, riding on the hip under tiny Victorian military jackets and worn with just the right high ankle-strap shoe, made complete, sexy sense of this season. When she sent out a cream silk plissé goddess dress, she made it so breezy and casual that it could just as easily appear on the street as at a party. Dealing out the frills, she undercut ladylike fuss with a cool simplicityin, say, a soft, pleated bib-front blouse blowing over a tiered skirt, or, for a more boyish mood, slim tux pants with a black ruffled shirt-jacket.
When asked how she's making all this look so good, Philorecently married and expecting her first baby in Decembersmiled and replied, with charming lack of designery grandeur: "I'm just really happy at the moment, and I think that's when you do your best work." But she's too modest. Her talent now fully blossomed, she knows exactly what to provide for any occasion in a young woman's lifewhether that's dash-out-the-door practicality (a seersucker jacket and cuffed shorts, or a coat with military buttons) or unaffected evening gorgeousness (the draped green satin crystal-trimmed number that ended her show). With extra investment recently announced by parent company Richemont, this was a collection guaranteed to spread Chloé happiness round the world.