Fashion without photos? Céline Resorts to extremes

Alexander Fury
celine check 300x300 Fashion without photos? Céline Resorts to extremes

An increasing rare impromptu Céline picture - this one from winter 2013

On Wednesday I went to see the Céline resort collection. If you’re into fashion, you’re salivating at the thought of that. I generally find Phoebe Philo’s resort collections a more fully-realised, rounded offering than her catwalk collections. She’s very very good at making clothes. Strip away the demands of a show, and she just gets on with it. And you easily get caught up. It’s a wardrobe anyone would be happy to get shut up inside.

And anyone can, because Céline is endlessly ripped-off. It’s not above riff-referencing itself, of course (winter 2013 examples: those laundry-bag checks had been seen before at Louis Vuitton in 2007; the stretch-leather thigh-high boots at Balenciaga in 2003) but the speed of the high-street churn-out has reached endemic proportions.

So for their Resort collection, there were no photographs permitted in the Céline showroom on the Rue de Grenelle. They had a selection of lookbook packshots for our perusal, pulling the garments into the outfits as envisaged by Philo & co., but they won’t be released until October, apparently. Which is after the next Céline catwalk show. I’m not sure what the plan is there. Maybe a return to old couture rules, no images released until three months after the event? That the way it was in the fifties, censoring images to prevent copyists. How appropriate that we saw Céline during the couture presentations in Paris.

I’m not sure, honestly, what I’m allowed to say about the Céline Resort collection. There were good furs, a short jacket in Burgundy fox with a vanilla mink back, and the same honey-coloured versus a sage green reverse. A knitted boucle skirt and matching sweater in oatmeal felt fresh, as did semi-transparent nylon dresses layered over coloured underdresses (shades of Louis Vuitton’s Richard Prince-inspired ‘Nurses’ from their spring/summer 2008 collection). Again, it felt like a wardrobe. I suppose it will still feel fresh come autumn, for once, without us all being overexposed to it via the Internet.

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