Celine S/S 2010 / PFW / Day six

In her much-anticipated return to the runway at Celine, Phoebe Philo pulled off a hat trick: She delivered that crucial jolt to the house; played to its sporty, slightly earthy heritage, and established for herself a new design era, one totally distinct from the girlish bohemia of her Chloé heyday.

At the core of that accomplishment were clean, luxurious clothes. Classics with that proverbial twist, which, in this case, was more like a definitive line. Precision was key in tailored pieces, which looked X-Acto cut, such as bib-front shirts with a starched-paper quality, trenches, tailored skirts and wide-leg trousers with acute creases. Many looks featured leather molded into boxy Ts, tops cut under the bust and shift dresses. Some were matelassé; all had a streamlined, scuba quality.

Such severity done in a neutral palette of black, white, camel and flesh tones was plain, but never bland. Creamy jabot blouses worn with jet leather radiated chic, while a range of second-skin nudes — the last two looks, which came too close to Margiela, aside — had pared-down sex appeal.

© by WWD / Photos by Giovanni Giannoni

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