Phoebe Philo’s Spring/Summer 2014 collection for CÉLINE departed from the strictly clean restraint that has made her one of the most copied designers of recent memory, and drove into completely new territory for the brand. Here, we discuss crushed cans, construction sites, and the power of decoration.
Daniel: The set was like this room made of particle board and the audience sat on these metal chairs in different colors.
Iris: Omg. I remember my aunt’s house looking like this when it was still under construction. It’s like a crushed soda can, like construction sites and deconstructivist architecture or something. The clothes and accessories are trash construction workers left in the house.
Daniel: That sounds very Project Runway.
Iris: I refrain.
Daniel: Remember shredded t-shirts? DIY fashion is totally back in a big way. If you haven’t heard.
Daniel: Like Dior was very DIY with skirts under shorts and twisted men’s shirts into dresses and Prada with those bejeweled bras over dresses. Also Junya, like fringe. And feathers. Chalayan and Westwood also a bit. D-rings and hardware at CÉLINE. Total DIY.
Iris: I love D-rings.
Daniel: I mean obviously you can’t really do all that yourself but it’s DIY in tone. Were you a D-ring wearer?
Iris: I totally had a pastel colored D-ring belt that came with my khaki capris.
Iris: The chairs at the show resembled sit-able versions of the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain by Frank Gehry, but less likely to stab you in the butt or something. They look like crumbled up construction paper in a kindergarten class. The construction site wooden elements from the ceiling to the flooring looked a lot like Frank Gehry’s home, experimental but in a sort of unfinished in a cozy way.
Daniel: Yeah, that vibe was apparent in the clothes too, with the hanging threads and mix of fabrics.
Iris: The set and clothes reflected deconstructivist architectural techniques with the unpredictable and different appearances at different angles. Sometimes I thought some of the shoes were flats from the front angle, but looking at close-ups from the side or back they’d have some like weird spherical or sculpted heels, or words like “LOVE” or “LIFE.”
Iris: I liked the first look for the shirt. If I’m being straight up, I don’t like the shoes or the skirt but I like the skirt more because of this collared t-shirt thing.
Daniel: Are you just not into the prints? I feel like it would be A+ if it was like at Marni but in this context it’s like, is this what I want from CÉLINE?
Iris: After being in that restricted look for so long, I’d go buckwild too if I was her. I appreciate it but I don’t like it. I haven’t loved a CÉLINE collection since like Fall 2011, but I still want to wear.
Daniel: About my first look. IDK It’s so dumb like what is even happening in this? What is the wire circle on a sweater on the waist on a tank top with a net skirt? It’s just a mess overall but… I’m obsessed?
Iris: I like the shape of the sweater, I could do without the black square on it.
Iris: This last one is my fave because it’s all black but I don’t really like the 80s-ish shape of the coat, I just enjoy those grommets because it looks like it would be fun to play with them and it looks cool with those pants.
Daniel: Transeasonal Trend Alert! Art b*tch. Graffiti girls. The messily painted eyes were totally YouTube beauty tutorial for “Beauty Don’ts” and that’s exactly what I want to wear. The painterly, messed up makeup look has been happening at all the major shows: Prada, Dior, Vivienne Westwood, Chanel, Thom Browne. I’m so excited about it.
Dick Page, who’s the artistic director for Shiseido, did Picasso faces with an easiness that seems slapped together rather than incredibly calculated. The models alternated between two looks: an almost monocle-style asymmetric liquid liner eyebrow and socket outline, and sharpie eyebrows and paintery blocks of color from neutral brown to bold purple and orange.
Iris: I think,I’d like the vibe of the show more if it was like less makeup and color on the face and normal looking hair like nothing was made up on the face. I liked the weird, squiggly brows though. They looked like HIM from Powerpuff Girls.
Daniel: Like tonally the makeup and stuff totally changes the look but I feel like even though that seems so un-CÉLINE it makes sense because with a naked face this collection could seem too approachable and friendly. Even though the clothes are colorful and playful, the makeup makes it a bit jarring and distant.
Dude, plus remember how she said she used to like love Boy George or something. The styling and stuff was going there. It was going there.
Daniel: The bags look like that one metabolist apartment in Tokyo with the circular windows. For that I am thankful because that look is very important to me and I’d like to carry it around as a bag.
Iris: Omg. In Mark Magazine, I was reading it earlier in the bookstore and they did a feature of people who lived there and like interviewed them. I tried to find it online but I can’t.
Daniel: I wanna see that place IRL and also have one of the bags. The bags are also very Come On Over, like Christina Aguilera. Weird future, Space Odyssey vibe.
Iris: That apartment building thing is the Nakagin Capsule Tower designed by Kisho Kurokawa in the early 70s. They said the design approach represents metabolism, exchangeability, recyclability and sustainable architecture with an uncertain fate.
Daniel: That truly resonates here.
Iris: The little like grommets on the clothes sorta looked like the windows from the Nakagin tower too, but those windows do not open at all for ventilation so thank god these CÉLINE grommets are 100% open.
The colors of the accessories also reminded me of the Google Data Center pipes, which have these primary colored pipes that are color coded for their use, like the blue supplies cold water etc.
Daniel: It’s really intense. The graffiti aspect makes sense because graffiti decorates and defaces the pristine building, which is what’s going on here if, like, you wanna read into it.
I’m really liking the overall movement toward the excess this seaason. It’s not in a precious way, it’s almost cheap looking which feels very realistic.
Iris: Yeah, I feel like I like decoration more in accessories and maybe in clothing also, but less. I’m not sure if it feels forced, but I feel like it’s a movement to feeling different from the past.
Like sometimes I want to dress like this, but then then be the opposite of it the next month and it’s not really a transformation in general but like just going with how I feel.
Daniel: Sometimes you’re just in the mood for something. Even though it looks like it’s completely different from an outsider perspective, in your brain it makes total sense.
Like, why wouldn’t I wear that print even though I’ve never touched a color past a neutral in the past five years? People don’t know about every facet of me.