The moment the fashion world has been waiting for finally arrived: today marks the day Phoebe Philo launched her eponymous label. Rumor had it that the price point would be ridiculously high, comparable to The Row. And even on that point, Philo exceeds expectations.
Cover image: courtesy of Phoebe Philo
Launch of Phoebe Philo
It’s almost unbelievable that Phoebe Philo – the designer – left Celine six years ago. Six years! During the last decades, no woman has had such a strong influence on how we dress; even disappearing for six years didn’t detract her aesthetic from the fashion industry and beyond. The launch of her eponymous label was delayed for over a year and a half for unknown reasons. Of course, there were speculations about Philo and her family life, but so far, everything about her personal life remains unknown. And it doesn’t matter, after all. The lack of familiarity with her private life might benefit her success, just like it is at The Row by the Olsen Twins. Their mystery adds to their label’s significance. The same holds for Philo, a fashion favorite since her first collection for Celine dropped. In 2010, The Gentlewoman put it correctly: “Philo designs the clothes women actually want to wear.” And today, the world witnessed Philo still does. Her silhouettes evoke a sense of optimism and mystery, humor, and sexiness like only Philo manages to create.
The first “edit” includes ready-to-wear, great coats, dazzling accessories, and cherished shoes. But, be quick: the so-called Philophiles have already struck, and many of Phoebe Philo’s shoes are already sold out, as well as most of her jewelry designs. After Tom Ford’s recent reintroduction of the shield sunglasses, Philo created her own – which will, undoubtedly, become a great success and fashion editor staple. The bags are of a different level – and despite their tremendously high price point, there are only a few left. Better news for the all-out party-goers: a sequin dress (sold for $17,000) is still available in all three sizes. But hurry up because the Philophiles are certainly after it, too. Until December, the first “edit” (we’re not discussing collections here) will drop on Philo’s website. The edit is seasonless, refrains from trends, and is all about permanence: clothing and accessories to be cherished for a lifetime.
Throughout her career, Philo worked under the helm of Stella McCartney at Chloé before being at the helm of the fashion house. Philo can count Daniel Lee, Matthew Williams, Peter Do, Victoria Beckham’s former designer Ilaria Icard, and many other influential creative directors of our time as her protegees, adding to her signature legacy. For Philo, working independently has been one of the most essential things in life. Even though LVMH backs her company, her independence remains untouchable. “Being in my studio and making once again has been exciting and incredibly fulfilling. I look forward to being back in touch with my audience and people everywhere. To be independent, to govern and experiment on my terms is hugely significant to me,” she stated earlier.
Circling back to the clothes. In a rare interview in 2016, Philo explained what her way of designing was all about: “I am not a big fan of women being sexualized through clothes, as you can probably tell from my work. I have no problem with a woman wearing anything as long as she has chosen to wear it for herself. But I do think there are too many images of women that are sexualized and too many examples of women dressing for other people and disempowering themselves in the process.” She added she felt inspired by Rick Owens’ spring/summer 2014 show, where he refrained from using models and opted for performers and dancers. “It’s got me thinking. I’ve never done anything like that before, but maybe I will,” Philo added. Until now, it is unclear whether Philo will ever participate in the official fashion calendar. But a woman like Philo remains full of surprises. And the independence she values in her personal and work life is perfectly translated into her new label. So, anything is possible, and perhaps fashion week might become part of her plan. However, she won’t need it.
Shop the collection on phoebephilo.com.
Also, read: Fashion designer Leo Lin about his fascination with fashion shows