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In Honour Of Phoebe Philo's Departure, Our Favourite Celine Looks Over The Years

Phoebe Philo

When the news broke that Phoebe Philo was leaving Celine, I think it’s safe to say that most fashion fans were saddened, if only for a moment – even if there’ve been rumours of her departure for months now. Philo ushered in a look that one could rely on, year after year, season after season, of dependable, offhandedly chic pieces that made building blocks of a fantastic wardrobe.

She’s been at Celine for the past 10 years and as industry website Business of Fashion pointed out, it’s an “admirably long tenure in an era of brisk designer turnover.”

While it appears Philo isn’t heading to take up the reins at a new label for the moment, her departure remains one of the biggest shockers of the year in fashion. As critic Cathy Horyn astutely sums it up, “I do think that her departure is part of a watershed moment in fashion. Going forward, we will see less intuitive design, less design that is respectful of the wide range of feminine emotions, experiences and ages.

This change is part of a larger societal shift in how we work and value our time, indeed how people view leisure time — which has always been essential to shopping and the pursuit of beauty and fashion.”

Here, we take a look back at our favourite Celine looks over the years:

#1: Spring/Summer 2010
Philo unleashed a season of khaki upon us with her second season at Celine – she was looking for “a kind of powerful, contemporary minimalism”. And she certainly managed it – for seasons after, the clean, pared down look she ushered in would dominate fashion (and the wardrobes of industry folks) and windows of high street labels would be awashed in various states of khaki – indubitably owed to Philo of course. #2: Fall/Winter 2010
How to make women look strong, intelligent and decisive? Philo certainly managed all of that but she could also do sexy – without revealing the slightest bit of flesh, as exampled here in this leather coat (she excelled at outerwear). Very Helmut Newton-ish, but updated for the 2010s. #3: Spring/Summer 2011
Tank tops are back in force for S/S’18 and they were often paired with smart, boyish trousers – we’ve highlighted them in our January 2018 issue. But Philo was already doing the look seven years ago and all power to her for making a simple tank top look so luxurious and desirable – a word you’ll hear all often when describing the mood her clothes exuded. #4: Spring/Summer 2013
Celine took a turn towards a noticeably looser silhouette this season – creating a tsunami towards a more chicly deshabille effect. But it was really this season where women began ditching their heels for Birkenstocks-esque sandals – Philo sent out flat sandals lined with fur with almost every look and slides – previously only relegated to the pool – started becoming fashionable. #5: Fall/Winter 2013
Next season, Philo turned her eye towards a softer, more cocooned silhouette – which “inspired” designers such as Victoria Beckham, whose work still continues to show Philo influences to this day. As she said after the show, the collection “was coming from a place of emotion and intimacy, something instinctive. There was softness and desire, to create something emotionally engaged.” #6: Spring/Summer 2014
Polo shirts are back in trend for S/S’18 in a major way but as always, Philo was ahead of the pack – her interpretation, done with fantastic color-blocking and wide ribbed knit elevated the staple and made it (yes) desirable. #7: Fall/Winter 2014
Philo said she “very much wanted women in men’s clothes, but it was a complex idea so we brought it back to a quite feminine silhouette.” For me personally, I like how the top unfolds like a flower, presenting the decolletage as a new erogenous zone. #8: Spring/Summer 2017
Which woman would want cobwebs over her boobs? I’m not sure, but when paired with the flash of intense Yves Klein blue, the effect is just one cool dress that comes across as a work of art. #9: Spring/Summer 2018
While we’re still trying to digest the fact that Philo is leaving Celine (though admittedly there’ve been rumours of her departure for months), at least she’s leaving on an extremely high note. Philo’s S/S’18 collection came across as confident and assured – it was mostly a sharpening of things she’s done before but honed to a T. We especially like the third dress from the left; it gets my vote as dress of the season. #10: Spring/Summer 2014 exit
Philo might just be fashion’s most watched designer in recent years – even what she wore to take her bow at the end of her shows were scrutinised as inspiration. Here, a simple ensemble of a sweater, wide-leg pants and white Stan Smiths made everyone else look overdressed and fussy by comparison. It also served as a harbinger of the craze for white Stan Smiths – not that we can credit Philo for single-handedly bringing back Stan Smiths but when she gives her approval, fashion folks are more than likely to follow. Like this? Check out all the accessories we’d love from Celine this Christmas, the top 10 acts we’re dying to catch at Laneway 2018, and the cool Singaporeans creatives making waves in the international scene.