Phoebe Philo

Phoebe Philo (1973)

Phoebe Philo is an English fashion designer, born in 1973 and with important professional experiences in Chloé and Céline.

The beginning

Born from English parents in Paris on 1st January 1973, only two years later Phoebe Philo and her family moved back to London, where she had the opportunity to study at the prestigious Central Saint Martin’s, together with her friend Stella McCartney: their friendship was so strong that, when the last one was hired by Chloé, Philo went back to Paris too.

Phoebe Philo fotografata da Nick Knight
Phoebe Philo photographed by Nick Knight

So, when, in 2001, McCartney left her role to launch her own brand, Phoebe Philo replaced her at the head of the French maison. Under her leadership, the brand continued the renewal begun during the McCartney era, imposing itself with a bobo style, which combined bohemian and bon ton elements, and producing icons such as the famous Paddington bag, babydoll dresses and sandals with wooden wedges..

Chloe by Phoebe Philo
Chloé by Phoebe Philo.

In January 2006, the fashion designer left Chloé and took a sabbatical period of two years, with the aim to dedicate more time to her private life.

The Phoebe Philo era in Céline

Céline FW 13/14
Céline, FW 2013/2014 collection.

But the break was short: already in September 2008 Bernard Arnault appointed her new Creative Director at Céline; she accepted only on the condition of the movement of the creative office from Paris to London. The debut took place with the Fall/Winter 2009/2010 collection and her ten years of Creative Direction made history:

My work has nothing to do with women’s physique, but with their power. Making them even stronger is the goal of my style.

Her work at Céline, indeed, revolutionized the concept of femininity, whispered and not sexualized, telling of a committed, practical and intellectual woman. After the aesthetics of the early 2000s, at times unscrupulous and irreverent, the blue shirts, the men’s cut trousers, the oversized sweaters and the blue coats became the emblem of a new feminine elegance and its minimalism rewrote the contemporary aesthetic canons.

Her rigorous aesthetic was followed by the Philophiles, her followers, who still research and buy the garments and accessories of her collections (models such as the Box Bag, La Trapeze and Sangle will never go out of fashion).

Phoebe Philo
Céline, SS 2018.

During the years she spent in Céline, Phoebe Philo was able to transmit a precise idea of fashion, with timeless clothes which didn’t follow the trends. It was that timelessness which contributed to create the myth around the fashion designer, who on 22nd December 2017 left Céline to dedicate herself to family; she was replaced by Hedi Slimane.

The return of Phoebe Philo

After a series of presumed returns, always denied, during the summer 2023 the confirm arrived that Philo wants to come back in the fashion world, with a personal brand which is named by her. The project is partially financed by LVMH, which has a minority share in order to guarantee the fashion designer the freedom she needs. Probably the model Daria Werbowy, who shared a big part of precedent professional experiences of Phoebe Philo, wants to come back with her.

Phoebe Philo, autumn-winter 2023
 Autumn-winter 2023

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