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Phoebe Philo is the brilliant British designer at French fashion house Céline. In just one short year, the Paris-born, London-based designer transformed Céline into one of the most talked about and coveted fashion houses on the planet, even securing her the cover of the debut issue of The Gentlewoman, photographed by David Sims wearing a Céline leather jacket and vintage Céline scarf. Her debut collection for Resort 2010 received rave reviews and catapulted the former Creative Director of Chloé once more into the fashion spotlight. Since then Phoebe has rebuilt Céline from the ground up, introducing a new minimalist elegance, fresh, clean lines and a luxurious nude colour palette. Her love of fabulous fabrics, butter soft leathers and rich caramel, toffee tones has won her legions of fans, infiltrating their way down to the high street, where copycat versions of key Céline pieces have won her legions more. While the press have been quick to herald Ms Philo, ‘The most influential designer in womenswear’, Phoebe herself is much more bashful. “I am grateful that it is going well,” she says simply. “It feels really good to be part of something that is appreciated, but we still have lots to do”. Phoebe left her position as Creative Director of Chloé after her spring/summer 2006 collection to spend more time with her young children and gallery owner husband Max Wigram. Her appointment with Céline came three years later and with strict terms from Phoebe. She was to keep the Céline headquarters in Paris but relocate the Céline design studio to West London so she could be close to her family. Designing clothes that real women really want to wear and can easily incorporate into their wardrobes has been key to Phoebe’s success; with the designer championing a vision for the Céline woman that is mature and independent. “She has ideas, she lives her life and she knows what’s happening,” Phoebe states, explaining it’s a concept she brings to fruition “with a pinch of salt, a sense of humour and hard work”. Drawing inspiration from her own needs, standout pieces in the Céline wardrobe include the fine leather T-shirt, the camel coat, the high-waisted, wide legged trousers and the crisp white shirt. Strong and powerful, practical yet stylish, these are all part of Phoebe’s vision to create a working wardrobe for the modern woman.

celine.com

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