Phoebe Philo isn’t only minimalist in her fashion aesthetic. Very pregnant with her third child, Philo eschewed the typical large-scale runway show in favor of a tight lineup presented in two small showroom shows. She came out briefly prior to the start of the second, acknowledged a few guests and left before well-wishers could find her backstage.
In a season fairly obsessed with volume, Philo amped up the silhouette of her famous sporty luxe, her approach on a vague wavelength with Balenciaga’s Nicolas Ghesquière but without the overt experimentation. Rather, Philo grounded her proposals in complete reality — tony clothes for everyday life. This meant sloped-shouldered coats with wide leather half-belts in back; trousers, some with electric tuxedo stripes, others with vertical knee zippers and, one of her sleekest looks, a leather shell over lean white pants.
The best of it bore the chic simplicity befitting fashion’s current minimalist queen with a rabid fan base among editors and consumers, though even some card-carrying members may steer clear of the roomier looks. It’s hard to imagine whom Philo had in mind with her colorblocks, a coat in big chunks of purple, orange, blue, white, pink and black, and a pair of blouson tops that looked like jockey silks done over in leather and fur. Most likely, they were a one-season snafu. But it could indicate that Philo is finding essential diversification of her minimalist message rough sledding.