After a reasonably and necessarily calm start to the morning, Céline is the first show this afternoon to which everyone who is anyone insisted upon attending. So, given that this is Paris and protest is a time-honored tradition, there were a couple of manifestations greeting those who showed up to the Tennis Club de Paris. Not that anyone actually pays attention. This is a largely single-minded crowd with only one question on their minds: What does Phoebe Philo have for us now?

The answer to that question would be: fringe. Yarn fringe, specifically. It shows up in layers from the knee down in the blue slit skirt of the first look and keeps popping up off and on throughout the collection. At times it is heavy, as with this first look, and at other times it playfully skirts along the hem of a dress. Thankfully, the look isn’t consistent, as that would have grown tiresome rather quickly, and it never wholly consumes a garment. The fringe is a nice accent touch but can easily be overdone. Philo observes the boundary well.

Trends are an important part of this collection as well and we see several of them throughout the collection. Pants are very full this season, which is probably the strongest contrast from last year’s very fitted looks. There are a few cut outs at the waist and the shoulders, and she experiments some with the whole strappy look that’s been going around, though that is probably not her most successful look. Summer coats are in abundance, most noticeably with layered leather panels up front. Floral prints are rather subtle and even subdued and though the color were intentionally shrouded.

A couple of really nice touches stood out. One is a loose knit red/blue crocheted dress with just a touch of fringe dancing along the bottom. The knit pattern at first glance looks like mesh, but the yarn is much more friendly than an artificial fabric would be and the result is a lovely dress that is perfect for summer. The second thing is a touch she uses just a handful of times where she takes a contrasting piece of cloth attached to the center of a garment and drapes it over the right arm (always sleeveless), re-attaching in back. The look buttons just in front of the elbow so getting it on and off doesn’t become confusing. The visual effect is surprisingly nice, almost elegant, especially in some of the later pieces.

If there is any issue with this Céline collection, it is that the line has become so commercially popular that its looks become instantly dated. People recognize Céline and know from which season its distinguishing styles originate. For the fashion conscious woman, that severely limits the longevity of the styles from any collection in this label. While spending $2500 each on a set of outfits is no big deal for a few, for the remaining 98% of the population we expect a little more wear from our investment. Popularity is hardly a negative issue, though, and we certainly can’t fault Phoebe for brilliantly capturing the looks for the moment season after season. It might be nice, though, if there were a little more carry over from one year to the next.

Céline is, once again, a beautiful and trendy collection. Enjoy it while you can.

Photo credit: Monica Feudi

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