I want to throw out everything in my wardrobe. Everything. And i want to replace it all with this. All of this. Every pair of pants, every micro mini, every strappy little sandal, every sharp-suited blazer with perfect, contrast lapels... Celine is just me, but a little reigned in. I like to think that it's how I'm going to dress when I'm older and have dispensed with the bells and whistles. I like long, clean lines - don't all women? But Phoebe Philo knows that you can't wear minimalistic all the time - it would be boring. Sometimes you want a bit of sparkle, sometimes you want a slick leather skirt, sometimes you want a pair of bright aqua trousers. The splashes of perfect colour - those sky blues, those khaki greens, those beautiful burnt oranges - are just that, perfect. Set against that toffee-sweet palette of neutrals the whole collection meanders along peacefully, punctuated by a shot of creamy silk or buttery leather. Everything just moves seamlessly onto the next idea, a natural progression from utilitarian to classic tweed and back again to slick as anything evening wear.
I think this might very well be the perfect collection. It's a simple enough idea; make the clothes that women really, really want to wear. All the time. Make them a wardrobe of the pin-sharp work suits, the jazzy evening number and everything in between for things like (including, but of course not limited to) picnics in the park (i'd wear the tweeds for that one) with your dimple-faced children, movies on a sunday night with your best friends, cocktails after work with a new colleague, saturday lunches that linger until dusk-time. It's funny when you think about it, but designers don't always make clothes to be worn. The ones who do tend to be pragmatic to the point of shrewdness about it (philip lim, i'm looking at you). There is nothing marketed about this collection. It was the same when Philo was at Chloe, she just seems to have a unique way of creating clothes that fill a void in dressing. Now, of course, it means that hundreds of designers are jumping on her oil-slick utilitarian vision, but Philo's used to that. This was her Resort collection way back in June of last year, the first collection she put together for Celine as she staged her comeback, so of course she's moved beyond this idea. But I can't help but look back and smile at the collection that warmed thousands of women's hearts the world over and converted me to an idea of easy luxury that, back then, was trailblazing to say the least. Who can say why, exactly, in June of 2009 we welcomed Philo back with open arms with a collection so distinctly different than what she had given us before? Who can say why these simple, simply beautiful clothes touched such a nerve?
The heart wants what the heart wants.
phoebe philo in the gentlewoman