>> For her first runway show since leaving Chloe in 2006 to focus on motherhood, Phoebe Philo sent out a fast-marching group of models swaddled in earth tones, clunky wood wedges, modified trenches, military details, lots of leather, and curiously few handbags, despite Celine's accessory-brand heritage. Bound inspiration books from Philo, containing photos of Kurt Cobain, disco balls, and work by David Sims and Helmut Newton were placed on every seat.
The mood of the collection, one of the season's most anticipated, Philo described as “purposeful and positive.” Backstage, while holding her five-year-old daughter, Maya, who attended the show with Philo's husband, she went on: "I wanted to clean it up, refocus, and present a strong, powerful woman." And of all the expectation: "It's just the beginning. It felt like, just take it easy, just start easy. It's nice to have the bubble of expectations burst. That feels good. Sometimes what people get into their head is unachievable."
In the front row were top photographers David Sims, Mario Testino, Craig McDean; Pucci designer Peter Dundas, who called the collection "wonderful"; and top LVMH brass, including Bernard Arnault, who stood to applaud Philo afterward. As Suzy Menkes put it, "This was an important exercise in making Celine fashion credible. And that was mission accomplished."