Inside the Tennis Club de Paris, in what felt like a tented Céline bubble, Phoebe Philo described her Spring/Summer 2018 collection as a celebration, a joyfulness – a message that in today's turbulent times, kindness and love should be at the forefront of all rhetoric. Extolling this virtue in the space itself, Philo lined each bench with a cosy sleeping bag, moving the show-goers closer to the action for an experience that, despite technically being outside, was both intimate and cocooning, much like the collection to come.
That Philo had looked to the late '70s/early '80s Céline woman and designers of that time was certainly evident in the proportions at play, from broad, sloping shouldered jackets, capes and coats to expertly oversized suits, tailored waistcoats and draped trousers. But there was also that co-opting of masculine elements – totally on-point for a season that has seen a huge move towards womenswear and menswear sharing the runway.
Innovation came in the outerwear – her opener, taking an almost tent-like approach, doubled-down on the trench, featuring a classic, tailored coat, melded at the hem with a looser, cape-like layer atop – perfectly practical for the Céline woman who hates to get her handbag wet. A far-ranging spread, beyond outerwear and tailoring, there were side-pleated asymmetric hem skirts, feather-fringed halter dresses, poncho-style tabards, an all-sequined roll-neck midi dress, drawstring-neck leather jackets, all culminating in printed silk shirt dresses cinched with horse-bit harness belts.
A suitably tonal palette for a season that seems to have departed from its usual flurry of anticipated trends into a more timeless stance, this was Céline at Philo's finest, giving plenty of joy and optimism for the season to come.