Paris’ Fuzzy Slippers and Sci-Fi Angels

Published October 1, 2012

Phoebe Philo’s Céline could be just right for Sunday morning in bed if it wasn’t all so elegant.Tunics in matte silk, satin, soft leather and raw linen were wrapped across the chest like a shawl, with voluminous pajama pants and the surprise of furry—is that mink?—feet. Philo knotted and wrapped necks, shoulders and waists in an abstract way, inset oversize cotton mesh into satin for plunging V-necks, styled bags with a rolled-edge handle like a paper bag from the store and left hems raw edged. What seems simple at a distance reveals construction complexity up close in pants for example which are stripe patched black on black. More relaxed than minimal, these clothes cut on the loose, without zippers, buttons or visible seams, display a total nonchalance that makes dressing up, or even getting out of bed, seem like trying too hard. And the fur-lined sandals are one of those completely original, slightly odd ideas that proves what a soulful innovator Philo is.

The celestial baby-blue single-sleeve dress with sleek pierrot collar that opened the Givenchy show was the first indicator of Riccardo Tisci’s back-to-church mood. Stark, bias ruffles in white organza held back with little metallic clips, tunic layers peaking out from under tailored jackets with pants and high collar blouses had vestment overtones. There were lots of ladylike ruffles, easy smock shapes and an attempt at oversize in sleeveless jackets that balloon out in an abstract circle shape, but the metal and plexi dog collar chokers and eyebrow erasing makeup made the overall effect more spacey than angelic.

Kenzo is alive and kicking again thanks to the injection of vibrant color and pattern from Carole Lim and Humberto Leon and so in the audience lining up for the show there were a smattering of Kenzo sweaters and sneakers. The marketing on this relaunch is perfect from the video wall backing up the models exploding in Kenzo Spring 2013 generated patterns which also echoed on the carpet they walked on, to the chocolate chip wild animal cookies in a Kenzo box on everyone’s seat. Safari tailoring in short sleeve jackets with shorts, a return to Kenzo’s signture off-the-shoulder dresses and a kaleidoscopic jungle floral print for pin-up sundresses are light, fun and to the point.