What Phoebe Philo did for Celine

Written by Dana Bilodedenko


Posted on April 03 2023

No designer has ever been so talked about as Phoebe Philo for Céline. She has worked at the designer label for a decade and left her stylish traces. What Phoebe Philo did for Céline reminds us of her work for Chloé, where she has worked between 2001 and 2006. Her remarkable SS04 show distinguished her from other designers. After this show Chloé's sales increased by 60% worldwide. The collection looked like a posh Saint Tropez wardrobe from the 70ies. It was an entire new direction for Philo to take, and she did it well.

For over a decade, Céline has been the brand that exactly seemed to know what modern women want. Philo's view on women was refreshing. She thought clothes should fit well, look good and –most importantly- should empower the wearer. Minimalistic forms and clean lines were signature parts of her designs. She created a wardrobe for women who dressed for themselves, not to seduce men.
Phoebe Philo added a cultural sense to both Chloé and Céline. She has never been sensitive to trends, apart from the fact that she has created many. We can say without doubt that every fashion conscious woman owns several garments that are inspired by Philo's work for either Chloé or Céline. Whether it is a wedge sandal, something you've borrowed at H&M or a piece of another designer brand, Philo's influence was unprecedented.

How Phoebe got inspired?

How did Phoebe Philo design for Céline? How has she been able to elevate Céline to a brand with cultural heritage? Well, Philo always liked to keep it simple and design for herself. She felt inspired by things that mattered to her at the moment on which she designed. She always stayed true to herself and kept wandering at Portobello Market, where she strolled around since she was a kid. These two influences are visible in her designs. At Chloé, her vintage treasures from the market were translated into flowery dresses, different layers of fabrics and vibrant colors. At Céline, some years later, we saw a new phase: motherhood and one of a more adult woman. Her designs are clean and minimalistic, yet flattery and feminine.


These designs belong to the past now. Since the announcement of her exit, garments of Philo's hand quickly became collector's items. Business of Fashion reported that resale prices of Céline items have rose up by 30% already.

The announcement has led to a deluge of sad reactions. When Hedi Slimane was appointed the new artistic, creative and image director of Céline (or should we write 'Celine' in this case?) and suddenly emptied Céline's Instagram account and webshop on September 3rd, @oldcéline was founded. The Instagram account functions as a tribute and archive for the 'old Céline', highlighting the 'Phoebe Philo for Céline'-era. The account slammed the success button and hit over 100k followers – still counting. It is a tribute to the –to many- holy decade. The decade of Phoebe Philo for Céline, which evokes some feeling of nostalgia.



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