The view from Court Two at the Tennis Club de Paris was of ironing boards and models dressing for the Céline show on Sunday. The site has become a regular haunt for the hot label, despite its long trek from the center of Paris.
Backstage after the show, designer Phoebe Philo told The Daily Beast that the inspiration behind the brand’s fall 2013 collection came from “instinct and design.” She explained: “I used instinct to create pieces which were emotionally engaging.”
The show was held in a cavernous raw space, decorated with a smattering of polished cream benches, which mirrored the color scheme and softness of the feminine, minimalist collection with clean-cut lines and few creative embellishments.
A cream skirt ensemble with a wrap-around top—which looked as if the waistband of a Kimono had been wrapped around its torso and folded over at the collar, revealing a bold silver necklace—set the mood for the show. Then came a cream coat with wide lapels (one of a number of roomy coat designs) that stretched down to the fingers to elongate the arms. A series of skirt looks followed, each tracing the straight line of the models’ thighs and then branching out into a swirl of material around the knees.
In one combination, a skirt was paired with a severe-looking, roll-neck sweater which possessed the latter jacket’s same extra-long arms. This time they reached down towards the collection’s leather ankle boots, which came in grays, greens and blacks.
On the whole, Céline’s fall offerings volleyed between severely simplistic, straight cuts pieces, and warm and cozy designs, depending on the fabrics they were constructed of. Exemplifying cozy, a series of simple button-up tunic dresses in varying grays expanded into deep pockets at the thighs, perfect for the country girl who likes comfort, style, and a leisurely hike.
In two minimalist but comfy-looking dresses that hit the knee, Philo added a twist (literally) with the addition of two figurative jacket arms that tied around the frock’s waist, gently knotting in the front. The idea continued when the decorative arm attachments grew wider and began higher up at the shoulders, revealing models’ bare arms as they reached into the garments’ many deep-set pockets.
Then deeper shades of winter were introduced into the collection, with the addition of darker grays, greens, blues, and browns (like the heathers of Scotland). They matched the dark tones of the portraits in a show notes booklet, which was handed out to guests before the show began.
Checked patterns came into play for the final looks, with a series of sporty coats that one might wear to a tennis club. They billowed open to reveal a graphic red and white plaid lining, which brightened up the darker black, white, and red pattern on the outside.
While Philo does not like to say much about her collections backstage, a beautiful booklet was given to showgoers, explaining her work. While there were no words written inside, it was filled with illustrative images of sculptures showing naked buttocks, both male and female. Rembrandt-like portraits of women from a bygone era wearing the dress of their day were also included, along with close-up shots of fabrics, fluff and knits, and clouds. The book's lack of words let viewers draw their own opinions on the clothing.