PARIS — Céline, powered by Phoebe Philo, is to remain a hot ticket during Paris Fashion Week. Employees of the fashion house, controlled by luxury giant LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, were reassured this week that the designer and the company are remaining together, squelching a flurry of online speculation the designer was eyeing the exit.
An internal memo seen by WWD — jointly signed by chief executive officer Marco Gobbetti and Philo — spells out that the designer and the company “are more motivated and committed than ever to their partnership and will continue to create beautiful products.”
Since joining Céline in 2008 after a stellar stint at Chloé, Philo has earned a reputation for sleek designs with a modern edge — and a knack for must-have handbags.
The British designer — widely credited for catapulting Chloé into the big leagues with her hip and feminine clothes and accessories — presented her first Céline collection for the fall 2009 season.
The Phoebe Philo era at Céline has begun. And in its first collection at least, for resort, it revealed a very different side of the designer than that which made her Chloé such an “It” girl favorite. Gone are the girly frills and eyelets in favor of a smart, far more austere and grown-up look rooted in classics. “For this first collection I wanted to create a wardrobe and not get too much into the trends,” Philo said. “I wanted to sort things out.”
One year after her appointment, reviewing her fall 2010 show, WWD wrote: “It’s astonishing what the right designer can do for a house. One year ago, Céline was as stale as week-old bread. Now, in the hands of Phoebe Philo, it’s the touchstone for modern sportswear.”
Philo had established a language — clean classics, to put it broadly, defined by square but slim tailoring — and built it out into an exceptional, new example of minimalism.
Here, a look back at some of her most memorable runway looks.