HOUSE PROUD: “Ooh la la, it’s so beautiful in here,” Madame Figaro’s Nicole Picart trilled as she entered Céline’s pre-fall presentation Tuesday at its new Paris headquarters on Rue Vivienne.
Indeed, the mansion, known as Hôtel Colbert de Torcy and built in 1640 by architect Pierre Le Muet, dazzled with its cobblestone courtyard, grand stone staircase and intricately carved ceiling beams. Céline added its own design-driven touches, including a patchwork floor of colorful marble strips in lieu of hardwood, high-tech lighting and mid-century modern furniture.
The handsome building reunites offices and showrooms scattered across several sites in the French capital, and gives pride of place — and a glass rooftop — to Céline’s atelier, the workers’ privacy shielded partly by a wall of straw.
A host of top editors trooped through the space gawking at the ornate wood-paneling — and inspecting Phoebe Philo’s latest collection, a blend of mannish coats, funky pants and clever knits, including a Breton sweater extended into a long, gored dress. Philo, who cast French ballet star Marie-Agnès Gillot in her latest campaign, showed more flesh than usual — opening an arch on pants to reveal the calves, and designing skimpy silken tops with sleeves that slip off the shoulder.
Céline prohibited photography of the building and the clothes, preferring to release look-book images of the pre-fall later in late April or early May, closer to the actual delivery in stores.