Jonas Gustavsson and Peter Stigter / For The Times
In just two runway show seasons, Celine designer Phoebe Philo has become fashion's new pacesetter, cutting through the last few years of ruffled and bedazzled clutter, and ushering in a new era of clean minimalism, also seen at Stella McCartney and Chloe.
Philo's sharp navy blue coat, wool A-line shift dress with deep-set leather patch pockets, glossy leather A-line skirt and crisp white shirt fastened with a collar pin look right for right now. It's a look that points to the subtleties of good design, rather than an outdated idea of in-your-face luxury.
"I wanted to bring back the purity of design, but keep it emotional." That's how Lanvin designer Alber Elbaz described his decision to turn the page on his influential ruffled and grosgrain-embellished look and focus on sharp silhouttes and clean surfaces instead.
It was also refreshing to see designers turn their attention to grown-up working women and make a genuine effort to update their wardrobes with versatile day-to-evening separates.
On the streets, the Celinification has already begun. Not only are fashion editors clamoring for the clean-looking, natural-colored leather T-shirts, tote bags and wood-block-heeled wedge sandals from Philo's spring Celine collection in stores now, Zara and H&M have their interpretations too.
This shift should also mark the end of fashion's obsession with the more-is-more 1980s, and the beginning of a 1990s redux in the spirit of Helmut Lang and Jil Sander.
Photo: Celine's fall 2010 runway in Paris.
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