Making it modern is Phoebe Philo’s mission. To her, it’s a matter of blunt lines and fabric development. Confidence doesn’t hurt either. Materials are stiff, flat and often bonded so they look like they’ve been pressed and stamped out into whatever sharp shape Philo’s envisioned, which was as incisive as ever. How much further she can file down her sporty, technical take on classics is a question. But it’s working.
Fall was another impressive collection, beginning with the coats. They were impeccable, a brilliant combination of proper tailoring and spare, experimental fabrication with beautiful details. They were shaped and darted in the back, with pleats cut into flat, separated panels, some of which were lined in crimson. White turtlenecks and leather-trimmed pants combined with the tailoring of an equestrian flavor. Some of the best styles were new takes on fur, including two crinkled, coated blazers each with a longer fur layer underneath, and a color-blocked mink that had an orange collar and white on the bottom half of the sleeves.
Pleats showed up again in the proverbial play between hard and soft on silk skirts and shells done with vertical strips of leather that looked a little Constructivist. So did boyish sweaters with a graphic pattern that echoed the Pointe de Hongrie parquet runway.
If there was a complaint to lodge it would be against the wood print pieces, squarish blouses and matching pants. Philo has an eye like an interior designer, but no woman wants to look like a piece of furniture.