Celine elegance doesn't try too hard

Staff Writer
Columbus Monthly

PARIS (AP) — True style doesn't try too hard.

In spring-summer 2013, designer Phoebe Philo continued the spirit of her alarmingly simple trademark statement.

Three years after the lauded Briton's Celine debut, she delivered a collection of subtle, bourgeois elegance evoked in softly architectural silhouettes.

Spring is about gentle contradictions, not color, she seemed to say: Shown through a muted palette of black, white, navy and gray.

The real point of the show was the gentle play on contrasting lines, then textures, then form.

Loosely hanging silhouettes — often with attention to neck details in high necks, bands and twists — came in column or boxy shapes, with a couple of black A-line tuxedo-dresses for good measure.

The gloss of sheeny silks whispered a contrast against matte fabric.

Philo has often been noted for her chic "utilitarian tailoring," which she delivers with uncanny ease.

Here we saw it used artistically in hemline frays which turned into tassels, and twisted fabric that wrapped round the back sewn crudely together in a lump.

It's a style that wouldn't look out of place on Juliette Binoche, for example, who accepted a best-actress award at Cannes in 2010 in custom Celine.

The house is right in fancying themselves as Paris calendar's arty side.

When fashion insiders asked to see the mandatory program notes, there were wry smiles as they were handed a text-free book of collage pictures.


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