Goodbye, Phoebe Philo

Céline's Pre Fall 2018 collection marks the end of an era as we know it.
Reading time 4 minutes

On May 2, Céline shared the images of its Pre Fall 2018 collection. Photographed by Juergen Teller, it is a collection that shows, as if it were an album of successes, the essence of the fashion house: dresses, oversized trousers or raincoats made of leather in black, wine and olive green colours; a black tuxedo, a navy blue jumpsuit, wool sweaters, a white shirt, giant totes with the printed logo, gold earrings with emerald details, a pair of tennis shoes, some plastic boots (because the fashion house has always shown a curiosity to experiment with those shoes) and some wine colored pumps.


In other words, this collection is the ideal wardrobe for the Philophiles — the faithful followers of Phoebe Philo. This collection is also the designer's last one for the brand: in December, Céline announced the departure of Philo, with Hedi Slimane replacing her and presenting his first collection in October. "What will we wear now?" was the question that exploded in the industry when the announcement of Philo's departure was made. It is a difficult one to answer.

Phoebe's Céline was the ideal shelter for the woman who did not want to think about what clothes she was going to wear.

"Phoebe Philo designs clothes that women really want to wear," Penny Martin wrote for The Gentlewoman magazine, which published one of Philo's few interviews. In her decade behind the brand, Phoebe not only managed to positively renew (and establish) her identity, but she also taught us the definition of "modern dressing" and "modern living". She became the heroine of thousands of women who were tired of the rapid evolution of fashion trends; they saw Céline as a safe place with comfortable and timeless garments with an exceptional quality of materials.

Fashion is an industry that tortures those who play in it. It is constantly evolving, always asking for something new and going beyond the garments.


It asks for unique experiences; it is threatened by fast fashion copycats; and sometimes it copies fast fashion. Lately, fashion has preferred streetwear over the legendary haute couture — and it never, never seems to rest.


Some designers prevail, others get tired. Many emerge, several enjoy stardom and some are multifaceted. Among them, Phoebe Philo is different. Yes, she studied at Central Saint Martins like many other designers. Yes, she has also moved from one brand to another (it was even speculated that she would be the new designer of Burberry), but no one has understood women like her.


Maybe it's because Philo's design choices were very personal and therefore more intuitive than others'. She is a woman ahead of her time; she created a wardrobe that she herself would wear.

Step into a Céline store and enter the universe of Phoebe Philo for the last time.

Buy a little of her and feel like a part of that group of autonomous women that she has led for that last 10 years: those who are not interested in wearing makeup (maybe only red lips from time to time); powerful and challenging women who are comfortable in a pair of Birkenstocks — sorry, Furkenstocks — or in a pair of Stan Smiths by adidas, coupled with a lace and silk dress; those who are content with wearing only one dangling earring. These women are the ones we see in the Céline Pre-Fall 2018 collection, a farewell with a lasting impact like everything that Phoebe has done.


Photography by Juergen Teller. Courtesy of Céline.



related posts

Recommended posts for you