Phoebe Philo's eponymous debut is a sure and uncompromising delight
Attention Philophiles: Phoebe Philo's first collection is finally here and well worth the wait.

It has arrived! The momentous Monday when Phoebe Philo opens her online store is finally here, after surely the longest wait in fashion history. It wasn't just the interminable three-month wait from the moment thousands of people registered on her website on July 27; it was also the almost six-year endurance of the Philo people after she left Celine in 2017. It is impossible to overstate the level of anticipation for the return of this women's leader, even more so at a time when there are more female creative directors leaving the scene than joining it.

At first glance, she delivered what we hoped for: a powerful punch of images and silhouettes to turn the mind; Phoebe Philo's touch of strangeness, eroticism, and humor that she so deftly hides among perfectly wearable clothes. The excitement of her attitude radiates from her images with uncompromising confidence: strong women who basically look down on the viewer.

During an appointment at the company's brand-new headquarters, her entire understanding of fashion with a feminine gaze - and more - became clear. In the hall behind the anonymous facade of a building in London, it was very clear: Phoebe Philo was born not just as a complete collection, but as a new luxury fashion house. It has its own in-house atelier and perfectionist standards that can match the best of Paris (which Phoebe evidently knows well), and even now, what you see includes everything from tailoring to leather jackets (lots of leather), coats, casual pieces, a hint of after-hours wear, shoes, handbags, sunglasses, and jewelry.

But it is also, crisply and intentionally, about economy of style. Phoebe Philo's genius-the long-awaited element of her faithful-lies in the way she concisely imparts new proportions and provokes new ways of wearing things. With this collection (she doesn't call it that, but we'll get to that in a moment), her equation is as follows: a big rounded shoulder, pants and always, with everything, high heels.

New variants of very specific heels, namely those with a high heel, slightly off the classic moccasin with the heel shaped to be solid and wide in the back, but thin in profile; sparkling and fun ones with bangs; and definitely sexy stiletto pumps.

As for the shoulders: they are oversized and thus in keeping with what's going on, but it's the rounded shoulder arch (more like a 1980s Giorgio Armani or perhaps Claude Montana) that definitely changes things up. The sloping silhouette worn by the model in a dark brown leather blouson jacket, laced into a low-waisted ruffle, with a perfectly graduated trouser width says it all.

Philophiles need no lectures on her excellence in trouser design-the talent and precision of fit that practically made her job since she was a student. Now, there is an assortment of Philo trouser choices on the way. Pairs that look perfectly regular in front, but are divided by zippers, right down the back of each leg, from hem to waistband (unbuttoned at will to reveal a heel, a calf...or more). Those designed with a Yeti fur resembling a snow-covered mountain. Models of deconstructed cargo pants with bondage straps hanging from the knee. Plus, amazingly cut jeans for everyday wear and ideal track pants.

The point-the familiar note that comes back quickly-is the way Phoebe Philo suggests so many elegant ways to achieve chic. Her design for living also mixes elements to fit: generous scarves that fasten and unfasten, to create draping as you wish or perhaps turn into waistbands or, who knows, a corset if you feel like it.

But this, as we said, is not a collection as we know it. What appears today is the first part of what the company calls Edits; a series of three online publications, labeled A1, that should appear between now and December. A2 will come in the spring, and so on. It will be available only on and is designed, in a way contrary to trends, to be seasonless, "to create a product that reflects permanence." That may sound new, but it's also what she's been great at from the beginning, as Philophiles (who have been wearing their 'Old Celine' for nearly a decade) well know. So, today is a day of celebration for a great fashion sorority. However, there is a note of caution. A note at the end of the launch press release, which talks about limiting wasteful overproduction, ends with the sentence, "For us, this means producing significantly less than expected demand." If you are reading this article and are already going to look it up, I'm sorry, but it may already be sold out.
April 04, 2024