We all missed Céline on the runway last season. As Phoebe Philo was heavily pregnant at the time expecting her third child, the brand opted for an intimate presentation rather than a runway show and the move actually supported Philo's appeal. The move showed that she embodies the women that she designs for. These are women that have busy lifestyles and have to juggle that with a busy family life too and this is something that was apparent in her latest collection.
Trousers came in a relaxed cropped style that are perfect for running around in and the more tailored but loose fit long styles that she showed were not restrictive and instead, would stand any woman in good stead for a busy day. The same is true of the draped silk tops and dresses that would, without doubt, allow you to move from a heavy day in the office to an evening 'do with ease. And that's Philo's charm. She understands what women need and it's perhaps this reason that she seemed so relaxed this season, compared to other designers who were clearly affected by the pressure posed by Hedi Slimane and Raf Simons' respective debuts.
This relaxed confidence was apparent in the silhouettes, which were a signficiant departure from Philo's former penchant for structure. Even calf skimming dresses came with frayed hemlines and if that isn't a sign of a more relaxed Philo, I'm not sure what is. The colour palette was still very much her though and didn't steer too far from black, white and navy, with the odd flash of a subtle gold thrown in for good measure.
The trouser suit has long been a stalwart piece in women's wardrobes. Since Yves Saint Laurent created his 'Le Smoking' women's tuxedo back in 1966, the piece has no doubt morphed into one of the single most transformative pieces of women's wear and for A/W12, it made a serious comeback. Just like Saint Laurent, this season designers seem to be more attune to the fact that women need clothes that make sense as much as they appeal aesthetically and as a result, we're spoilt for choice.
You can generally guage what the big trends will be by watching the Prada show and this season Miuccia Prada made a big statement. At both Prada and Miu Miu the trouser suit dominated sending a clear message that if there's anything you need to buy this coming season, it's that.
Throughout the shows in February there was a lot of talk about the clothes being like an armour, preparing women for the tough world out there right now and it's true. At the rate things are going, we can all do with as much help as we can get and there's no denying it's transformative powers. Even Caroline Issa spoke about it recently in the latest issue of ELLE UK. Talking about her recent Tom Ford suit purchase she said: 'When I wear it I feel like the chicest person alive - it is wearable art.' Whistles CEO Jane Shepherdson shared the sentiment. 'It's about authority,' she said in an interview with Karen Dacre about the suit's power in the workplace. 'If I feel I need 'armour' any day, then I will pull on a trouser suit. It let's people know you're serious and not to e messed with.' My-Wardrobe's founder Sarah Curran said the same thing. 'There's definitely an attitude that goes with wearing one,' she told Dacre. 'There is something about a trouser suit that gives an air of confidence that a dress could never do.'
From top left: Acne, Dries van Noten, Miu Miu, Todd Lynn, Todd Lynn, Alexander Wang, Celine, Elizabeth & James, Miu Miu and Prada
Juergen Teller is one busy man at the moment. He's just wrapped up shooting the fall campaigns for Céline and Marc Jacobs alongside working on his exhibitions at London's Photographer's Gallery and New York's Lehmann Maupin Gallery but it doesn't end there. Alongside these projects, the photographer has been working on a new book.
This book, titled The Keys to The House, is different to his others because the images offer an insight into his life in his country home in Suffolk, rather than focusing on his big fashion work. So apart from an appearance of Lily Cole and Vivienne Westwood, the majority of the images feature his closest friends and family along with landscape shots, nudity and wet dogs.
Last month British Vogue had Kate Moss on the cover but for July they've opted for Rachel Weisz. While the actress isn't someone that I particularly follow, she does seem like the perfect choice to cover their annual 'Ageless Style' July issue. After all, the 42 year-old always looks chic and age appropriate without being boring and looks effortless while doing so.
On the cover she appears wearing a cashmere Celine knitand was photographed by long-time Vogue collaborator, Alasdair McLellan. If Weisz isn't of interest then Miranda Kerr's 'Surfer style in Sydney' piece might be of interest and if her latest magazine appearances are anything to go by, it should be good.
Will you buy the issue when it hits newsstands on June 4?
With the news of Raf Simons' appointment at Dior well and true out and confirmed, the question as The Cut posed is how much Simons knew over these past few months.
It was only in March when the news of his departure (or being forced out as Cathy Horyn put it) from Jil Sander was confirmed that Simons' name was really thrown into the hat of potential candidates to take the reigns at the house so it begs the question; was it only at this stage that the negotiations with Dior began? That conclusion would seem to make sense when you look back at the sequence of events last month. Back in March reports claimed that Simons' had a clash with Dior CEO Sidney Toledano over money yet only a few weeks after the negotiations began the brand announced that the creative director had been secured with an announcement said to come soon. Clearly the negotiations were not as frosty then as the reports had us believe.
According to The Cut, LVMH bosses were concerned about having to compete against Yves Saint Laurent after it was confirmed that Hedi Slimane would replace Stefano Pilati so brought Simons on board to make sure they had a well-celebrated and modern designer on board too. The decision definitely makes sense. Along with Phoebe Philo's work at Celine, Simons is amongst the designers pushing the modern minimalist aesthetic forward, which is something that Slimane has always championed so with all three designers at the helm of such big brands, the competition truly begins.
When Rihanna stepped out in this blue Emilio Pucci pyjama suit at a press call for her debut movie, 'Battlefield', she made a statement in two ways. Firstly, the singer's decision to sport the style on the red carpet showed that the trend that has been gaining pace and resonance over the past season has officially moved in the consciousness of the mainstream. More than anything else it proved that dressing, particularly for the red carpet, doesn't need to mean that comfort must go out of the window.
It's this feeling that Stella McCartney developed last season at her S/S12 show. After all, it was her relaxed silk pyjama styles that started the current fascination with the style. Since showing that collection brands like Balmain and Celine have tapped into it with their respective pre-fall collections and according to the Guardian, the high street are lapping it up too. Whistles, H&M and Topshop have all reported that the trousers are proving a hit in their stores and are selling out fast.
As someone who spends the majority of my writing time in comfortable clothes sat in my home office, the idea of working in something that felt as comfortable as pyjamas without being the real thing, was an instant draw. But the big question is how did this new found love for comfort happen especially in an industry where most women are glutton for punishment when it comes to their sartorial choices? After all, there is a reason why people are touting it as the most unlikely trend of the season. In my noble opinion I think it is a sign of big changes. A few years ago we were all in the thick of Balmain fever where everything was about the bling, the sequins, the shoulders and the equally garish and ultra mini dresses but over the past few season things have changed. With the economy as it is, our clothes are one thing that we can't afford to be restricted by or worry about and as McCartney continues to prove, comfort and fashion are not diametrically opposing notions. But that's not it. As many retailers have noticed, the great thing about them is that transcend generations. Unlike season past where the pieces would look strange on anyone above a size 10 and on beyond the tender 20s bracket, this look is resonating with women of all shapes and sizes.
So the only question now is will you sport the style this season?
Phoebe Philo's success at Céline extends far beyond the clothes. In a recent feature in the Times, Benjamin Seidler explained Philo's allure. Not only does she create clothes that real women want to wear but she is also an embodiment of the women she designs for. Take for example her decision not to show a runway show this season due to being heavily pregnant. While many were critical of the decision, it has actually made her fans relate to her even more.
'I'm seduced by the sense of it being the vision of a strong woman who has created a fashion moment, who wonderfully negotiated working from London because that’s where her family is and who has decided not to do a runway show this season because of her pregnancy,' Agata Belcen, fashion editor at Another Magazine, said. Katie Bain, shoe manager a the British Fashion Council, agrees: 'Phoebe Philo at Céline creates a collection each season that is about building a wardrobe rather than focusing on throwaway trends. I think, as a working woman (and mum), she really has that ability to resonate with what women want to wear.'
Celine isn't the only brand canceling its Fall runway show. Today Chado Ralph Rucci confirmed that they will not present their collection in a runway show at Lincoln Centre on February 12 as planned. Instead, the collection can be viewed in private showroom appointments.
After the news was announced, many began to speculate that the cancellation was due to the scheduling clash with the Tommy Hilfiger show, but this was quickly denied by the brand's communications director Rosina Rucci. In explaining the decision she said that while "cost is always a factor [it] was not the driving force."
Before you panic, all is well. The fall collection is being worked on as planned but the brand have decided to cancel their upcoming show as creative director Phoebe Philo is eight months pregnant with her third child.
According to WWD, press and buyers will still be able to view the collection but in an intimate presentation rather than in a full-blown show format. Exactly how the presentation will be conducted is yet to be confirmed. The only downside of the change is that if you thought Celine shows were already notoriously difficult to get an invite to, the small nature of the presentation means that it just got that little bit harder.
Although the speculations about who will take over at Dior has quietened down over the last few months, an imminent appointment is still on the mind of LVMH bosses. Despite Marc Jacobs being tipped as the man to take the role, recent reports allege that negotiation talks have slowed down in recent weeks.
Jacobs reportedly made it clear that if he were to move to the house he would come with his whole design team at Louis Vuitton. Naturally this causes problems and to make matters worse, Phoebe Philo - who was tipped to move to Vuitton from Celine - has confirmed that she has no intentions of leaving Celine.