Just before the holiday, Phoebe Philo, artistic director of Céline, announced that she is leaving the house. A replacement was not named at the time, leaving turmoil heading into 2018 and the New Year. This is significant fashion news; Phoebe Philo’s 10 years as artistic director at Céline redefined what women aspire to wear, with her minimalist aesthetic, clean lines, and tonal color palette gaining traction with critics and consumers. She stripped away the fuss in fashion and what remained were the clothes, powerful in their simplicity. Philo inspired a new kind of power dressing; a quiet way of making a statement, where the clothes do not overpower but reveal how women really want to see themselves – sophisticated and knowledgeable. There is a Céline uniform: large, slouchy trousers; a collarless shirt; flats; a tuxedo jacket — preferably in navy, black or cream. Quite simply, Philo transformed Céline into her own image and gave the brand a new relevance.
The news of Philo’s departure comes at a time when other fashion houses are in transition. We will have to see what 2018 holds for Céline and for the fashion industry.