PARIS — The chop-chop of helicopter blades sounded lift-off Sunday as Celine unveiled a smooth, sober spring look in aerial whites and rich-hued leather that left the Paris fashion crowd dizzy from the journey.
British designer Phoebe Philo, who has transformed the LVMH-owned house's image in the space of a few seasons, garnered warm applause for the ready-to-wear collection showcased in a Paris tennis club.
Setting the tone, the first model stepped out in a white skirt and coat, with an outsized belt, above black suede ankle-strapped platforms, followed by variations in wine red or forest green.
White was the keynote with pants, cut close or flowing, ending in a wide band of cream silk, or masked in front with a black chiffon veil, creating a shifting grey effect as the models moved through the light.
White shirts or tops widened into elegant, stiff flounces on the hip that gently flattered the waistline without touching it.
Celine's strength is in the detail, and the onlooker wished he could reach out and stroke the covetable fabrics, study the finishing touches, understand how the designer's clothes could achieve such proud elegance.
Cut on the knee, dresses were demure with collars closed or open just a peep, short sleeves with turned-up cuffs and thick belts.
White poplin blouses, some with sophisticated pleats and curved, long tails at the back, injected a fresh touch, along with joyous flashes of poppy red.
Philo's fondness for leather this time produced a stunning three-tone pleated skirt in cream, dark green and chocolate, or a sleeveless top with asymmetrical swathes of olive and forest green at the hem, black leather and wine red suede at the collar.
Or black leather dress with sleeves reaching just above the elbow, that kept it stunningly simple.
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