PARIS -- Puffy clouds, naked derrieres and Van Eyck paintings. Those were just a few of the images inside the cryptic inspiration scrapbooks placed at each seat for the Celine fall 2013 collection that designer Phoebe Philo presented Sunday afternoon during Paris Fashion Week. The message? Celine was softening up. In other words, exit the too-cool-for-school tomboy and enter the lady.
The look: Womanly tailoring. Dressed up. Peaches-and-cream shades with green and navy blue mixed in. An emphasis on soft textures, such as on a white-and-black tufted cream coat. Flouncy skirts and funnel-neck tops with delicate necklaces incorporated into the collars. Coats with rounded shapes, some with sleeves that tied in front, "hugging" the shoulders. Plaid jackets, coats and dresses with the plasticky look of inexpensive grocery bags. A mink dress with tulip-shaped skirt (a cheeky follow-up to spring’s humorous fur pumps and fur-lined Birkenstock-like sandals, no doubt). And how neat that the soft clutch bags models held close were made of the same fabrics as the clothes themselves.
The verdict: A romantic turn for Philo’s minimal chic, but done with such conviction, it was impossible not to be seduced.