The invitation to the Celine show was the name of the brand drawn into a sandy beach; clue number one. Upon arriving in the show venue, placed in what looked like the compressed wood framework of a house under construction, the audience was asked to sit on brightly colored metal blocks that were annoyingly cut at a slant, making it impossible to perch on the edge to get a glimpse of those all-important Celine shoes; clue number two. And before the show got underway a mood board magazine was available on all the seats to peruse and ponder; clue number three.
What were all these hints telling us about designer Phoebe Philo’s current state of mind? How would the geometry, vibrant colors and evocative images of primitive drawings carved into stone and abstract graffiti tags be transformed into another collection that modern women will be rushing out to pre order?
Whatever expectations the audience could have possibly build up in their minds, Philo surpassed with this spring/summer 2014 collection.
This was a bold, dynamic show that used vibrant primary colors, painterly brush stroke prints and a sporty silhouette to create clothing that popped with power.
Again at Celine this trend of revisiting the late 80s and early 90s reverberated throughout. Soul II Soul’s 1990s anthem “Back to Life (However Do You Want Me)” mixed with a bit of George Michael, from the same period, was played at half speed to act as the soundtrack of the show. While at the same time the models walked the circuitous catwalk at a breakneck pace. It created a palpably tension in the room and sent journalist and editors scribbling madly into their notebooks to try and capture the myriad of different sartorial concepts Philo was firing off in this show.
Philo moved her clothes closer to the body showing ribbed body hugging dresses shot through with bands of color, or long slim tunic tank tops over handkerchief hemmed pleated skirts. Skirts that were given a zing of graphic vigor were cut in opaque, then sheer fabric or diagonal lines; while those shirts were punched up with curly cue dashes of color. A design theme that also looked feisty when it was elaborated on later in the show when the designer added slashes of black and a mix of other primary colors together to cover entire ensembles, boxy shirts and wrap front coats. Finally the curvy motif was reworked again to soften its graphic nature and give it a textural depth by embellishing it with sways of thread.
The circle looked to be Philo’s fetish shape this season. Besides the short circle necklaces and cuff bracelets they also embellished belts, ornamented the shoulder of a fitted leather top or were punched into the bottom of one knockout, nipped-in waist, black coat in rows of colorful metal grommets.
And what about those Celine shoes? Women will have plenty of options next season. There were some sporty street style Van-esque slip-ons, a reworked Birkenstock sandal with gladiator straps lacing up the legs and a whole bunch of great ankle boots with a wide assortment of heels – silver ball, mirrored square- to choose from.
After two seasons of beautiful, if more reserved, offerings Philo looks to be in the mood for giving women clothing that is more outgoing and eye catching. She certainly has caught the fashion world’s attention.