“It’s pretty masculine. That’s how I dress and I think it’s quite liberating for women not to have to be so preoccupied with different silhouettes, with different things” stated in an old interview Phoebe Philo, Celine
creative director from 2008.
Though Céline was founded in Paris way back in 1945, when Céline and Richard Vipiana opened a custom shoe shop for children in Paris, its modern incarnation dates to 1969, when the Vipianas began selling ready-to-wear.
As Phoebe Philo says “Historically, the bits of Celine I knew from researching, generally over the years, were typically Parisian – a pleated skirt, a silk blouse and a blazer. And I quite like the conservativeness of that, that Parisian chic, that conservative woman. Bourgeois. A bit saucy.” Celine ‘s always been very polished, very french.
Although the label had garnered headlines when it was led by Michael Kors in the late nineties, it was Philo who truly brought the luxury house to the forefront.
It’s no secret that Céline, acquired by luxury conglomerate LVMH in 1996, has been hugely influential, and appreciated by critics, since Phoebe Philo took the creative reins in 2008. Lately Hamish Bowles said in an article for American Vogue Philo had “reinvented the way women dress and transformed a mere house into a fashion cult.”
A flip through any of the fashion glossies currently on the newsstand can induce a sense of déjà vu. Practically every other advertisement for a luxury brand prominently features a somewhat boxy leather bag that widens towards the top to form a vaguely trapezoidal, ‘winged’ shape. This is no coincidence, but rather evidence of the unmistakable influence of one woman: Phoebe Philo. Critics credited her with pushing fashion in a new direction, towards a more spare, stripped-down kind of sophistication.
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