Phoebe Philo Exits Céline

A series of personal portraits of Phoebe Philo taken by David Sims
"Working with Céline has been an exceptional experience for me the last 10 years"

It was rumoured a couple months back in October that Phoebe Philo was calling it quits at Céline, the luxury French fashion house she revolutionised, designing clothes women actually want to wear.

After studying at London's Central Saint Martins before joining friend Stella McCartney as her first assistant at Chloé in 1997, taking over creative reigns in 2001 - a position she held until 2006, Philo took a two-year hiatus, before accepting LVMH's offer to head up a tiresome Céline. Along the way, picking up a second British Designer of the Year Award at the British Fashion Awards in 2010 and the year later, an International Award at the CFDA Fashion Awards.

"Working with Céline has been an exceptional experience for me the last 10 years," commented Philo. "I am grateful to have worked with an incredibly talented and committed team and I would like to thank everyone along the way who has been part of the collaborations and's been amazing." In the last decade, Phoebe Philo has contributed heavily in how we see fashion, cementing a stripped-back, minimalistic aesthetic that women aspire to dress like, not forgetting the "it" bags she was responsible for; the "Phantom," "Trapeze" and "Trio."

So that just leaves us with the burning question. Who will replace Phoebe Philo at Céline? I've actually been thinking about this a lot since rumours of Phoebe Philo leaving surfaced in October. There's been so many twists and turns in fashion this past year, Creative Director positions changing like the seasons. Who knows who it could be. All that has been said thus far is that Philo will present her last collection as part of the Fall 2018 season, and in the interim, the label's collections will be designed by the Céline teams.

This brings me onto my next point, the person I personally would love to see announced as the next Creative Director of Céline. I have been thinking about what Philo's vision for Céline represented on a whole, and to me that vision was timeless, ageless fashions. A designer who achieved exactly that was Martin Margiela during the six years spent at French luxury fashion house Hermès (1997-2003). Try and get out of the mind-frame of the conceptual, Avant-garde work from the many experimental collections of his own label, and Phoebe Philo and Martin Margiela aren't as world's apart as one may think. Both had the vision to design timeless fashions, both had a deep love and understanding of male tailoring on a female, both refused interviews, and finally both focused on real women.

When the late Jean-Louis Dumas, head of the Hermès family and CEO of the company made the decision to hire Margiela, he shocked the fashion world. That is what I feel should be done now. I'm tired of seeing fashion played safe, fashion should be out of all of our comfort zones.

Anyway, back to the clothes, Martin Margiela made stripped-back, simple-looking garments not only intricate and complex, but most importantly comfortable and chic. The designer eschewed visible darts and used only hidden seams, often lining his pieces with the same fabric as their exterior. At Hermès he made great emphasis on his pieces being able to be worn from one collection with a piece from another collection ten years in the future for example. He was always a modern and forward-thinking designer.

Martin Margiela himself vanished from the fashion scene completely, around the same time that Phoebe Philo was hired at Céline, and it makes me question: will he ever return? He is no longer active in the fashion industry anymore, so it's highly doubtful he ever will, however, I do hope so one day. How about you, who would you like to see replace Phoebe Philo at Céline? Leave your answer in the comments section.

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