PFW: CELINE F/W 2014

After a spring/summer collection that was very busy and full of bright, vivid colors, Celine’s creative director Phoebe Philo decided to pull back a little for fall/winter and get back to a more natural feel. Set at the Paris Tennis Club, the jagged-edged runway made of bamboo flooring was surrounded by tropical greenery in an effort to help provide that back to nature feel. Okay, the real result was that it was more reminiscent of a 1990s suburban mall experience, but it was still enough to set a reasonable mood.

Starting with a set of long black double-breasted coats with white buttons that extend outside the lapels, this is a very slim and lean collection for the most part. Ribbed knits were especially clingy and provided an ultra-sleek look as pants with bell bottomed legs matched the long sweaters above them. In fact, “long” is a very applicable word for this collection as pants come down over shoes, sleeves extend over hands, and a large number of dress hems fall well below the knee.

Colors in this collection are also back to nature, with khaki and olive playing a significant role. There are touches of pink and purple and one orange muffler practically shouted its way down the catwalk in comparison with the other more quiet hues. Most of the designs stick with solid colors and even when she does present a very modest floral print (that could easily be mistaken at first glance as leopard spots) it is still very subtle and doesn’t leap out and demand attention.

Just because this is a more “earthy” collection doesn’t mean that it’s boring. Phoebe enjoys playing around with different cuts around the neck, some of which are delightfully upon and asymmetrical, as well as using layered skirts to offer a different set of lines below the waist. While the looks are adventurous, they are attractive without heading towards being inappropriate. These are very office-friendly looks for the most part, with the possible exception of a couple of dresses whose applique pieces might snag on furniture or machinery.

While this is a very comfortable and warm fall/winter collection, Ms. Philo does a great job of keeping the pieces interesting, contemporary and well styled. These are well-constructed garments that will make great additions to a wardrobe, especially if one really enjoys the feel of nature.

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