Céline: Ready-to-wear SS17
The press notes for Phoebe Philo’s SS17 outing for Céline read only “I want to show that our bodies are bound to the world, whether we like it or not”, which were, in fact, not her own, but those of Dan Graham. He’s an American artist, a man who had also created an installation for the show, a huge wall of glass that curved, S-shaped, along the catwalk. Because, well, what would Céline be without a nice dose of intellectual stimulation of a Sunday lunchtime? His work is about reflection, and reflection has always been at the heart of Philo’s task at Céline – a reflection of what women want to wear, now. So that was where it began once again, the first look simply a double-breasted black coat, worn over over a pair of leather culottes that flared slightly towards the hem. It is a look that Philo has long championed during her time at the house, but here it felt freshened in the proportions – there was an addition of power-shoulder, that also appeared, second look, in white blazer form, and later, a perfectly formed herringbone coat, cut out at the sides. But, unlike other takes on the super-shoulder that we have seen throughout the week, this was not severe but louche, soft even, a softness that wove itself throughout the collection from the opening looks towards Grecian drapes, that fell cape-like, over the shoulders, or knotted at the front of full-length dresses. There was a femininity – dare we even say girlishness? – to this, emerging also in those sheer bell bottoms that floated out from underneath tailored trousers, or in the crocheted, spiderweb bra tops. But the whole thing was energised by Philo’s always masterful use of colour – cherry red, blue, a sort of chalky yellow, mismatched shoes and, across one dress, a smudge of Yves Klein-esque paint. Can we call it body art? As the girls trailed out for the finale it seemed that there were only two questions as to whether you would want to wear this collection, those being: are you a woman? And, do you have a pulse?
Photographs by Jason Lloyd-Evans