It’s been almost a month since Hedi Slimane’s inaugural debut at Celine, meaning there’s been plenty of time to process—though it didn’t take more than a few minutes on the catwalk for social media to blow up with a whirlwind of strongly worded sentiments from Philofiles.
The ‘new chapter’ he wrote for the storied French house is a stark contrast to what we’re used to, but as Slimane told WWD, “You don’t enter a fashion house to imitate your predecessor, much less to take over the essence of their work, their codes, and elements of language.” In place of flowing trousers, seamlessly tailored blazers and an overall minimalist elegance, the new Celine offered supermini dresses in crinkled metallics, slim-cut menswear—a new territory for the label—and the signature dark, moody rocker aesthetic Slimane cultivated over at Saint Laurent. If the old Celine catered to working women, its newest iteration is undeniably targeted at a younger, more rebellious group.
The notion that Phoebe Philo designs for women was what fueled the house while it was under her helm, giving shoppers an easy and versatile sophistication for real-life wear. Whatever your reaction to Slimane’s debut collection, the fact remains there’s a void to fill for the cult following Philo had amassed during her decade-long tenure. Enough time has gone by to down a bottle (or two) of merlot, rack up a full shopping cart of prior-era Celine on The RealReal, and scroll wistfully through the @oldceline account, but one question remains: Who will the Philophiles turn to fulfill their sartorial needs?
We might be down an accent aigu, but the look and feel Philo empowered women with is certainly crafted by many other designers. Below, take a cue from some labels that prove it on the reg and, most recently, in Spring’s 2019 collections.
Laidback and polished, Amy Smilovic’s show (and overall look in general) was full of chic and ultra-wearable pieces. Boxy, sculpted polo tops meet shirtdresses that hint at a waist but don’t focus too much on it. Blazers have a relaxed fit, yet still feel very grown-up, especially when paired with matching pants in a high waist and straight leg. For Spring, sweet hues of baby blue, petal pink and pale yellow also feel super fresh.
Posh Spice’s namesake label celebrated 10 years with her most recent show, proving she’s in it for the long run. You’ll always find sumptuous knits (like turtlenecks in two-tone colorways) alongside flowing midi-length skirts and tailored-with-the-utmost-precision blazers that make getting dressed easy. This season, she brought out crepe de chine tops and silky slips, even pulling them over trousers—because…why not? Her supple bags, which are handcrafted in Italy, bear the same minimalist, structured feel of “old” Celine’s.
As another maker of impeccably tailored pieces, Gabriela Hearst delivers slim, double-breasted blazer and pant combos. Her pieces often bear an eclectic twist, like a trench coat upgraded in croc-effect leather or “stripes” composed of tiny boots prints on a blouse.
Building block pieces that can sometimes feel basic are always reinvented to an eclectic degree when this Australian designer has her eyes on them. With colorful details like mismatched buttons, contrast stitching and flared sleeves, suddenly something as simple as a long sleeve button-down blouse or a pair of trousers don’t feel so simple anymore. Chunky, sculptural jewelry also feels luxe in a modern, minimalist way.