16 July 2018

Revisiting Céline Resort 2010

Exactly nine summers ago, Phoebe Philo quietly delivered her debut collection for Céline. It was Resort 2010, showed in a “bare loft space in Chelsea,” as Vogue reported at the time, describing the clothes as "woman-friendly, with lots of great-looking suits, chic cocktail dresses, and fabulous outerwear.” “Fashion has been waiting for some good news, and Phoebe Philo is here to deliver it,” the report went on. One look at the designer’s confident, spot-on debut collection for Céline and it was clear that the house had entered a new era and a reinvention was about to commence.

Here we are missing Philo once more—the beloved designer departed Céline in December, sending her legions of “Philophiles” into a tailspin. Chief among them are the fashion fanatics behind Laila, the directional vintage shop in Tokyo known for its exquisite curation and dedication to archivist work (Laila also prints fashion reference books). Last week, Laila opened a special Phoebe Philo pop-up at its Tokio shop in Shibuya, stocked with roughly 35 rare gems from her Resort 2010 and Spring 2010 Céline collections.

“The collection is about interchangeable investment pieces,” Philo said of her Resort offering at the time. “I worked hard to create things that will stand the test of time.” Clearly, she delivered. A simple khaki shirt dress, the perfect high-waisted wool pant: These livable garments convey the same ease and sophistication they did nine years ago. The same could be said of her first runway show for Spring 2010, of which she said “I just thought I’d clean it up. Make it strong and powerful—a kind of contemporary minimalism.” The timeless image of Constance Jablonski striding down the runway in a sharp little black dress—unconventionally sexy, with its leather sleeves and high crewneck—is a testament to her legacy.

“Her collections have a great balance between reality and aspiration, and they were not typical boring clothes,” a representative for Laila explains. “We feel a big loss of her designs in the current fashion industry, so we created this edit for guests to experience her impact once more.” In other words, it is a chance to revisit (and perhaps purchase, should you so desire) Philo’s revolutionary work and the deep emotions it stirred. As Mower put it for Vogue: “Quite possibly that charge doesn’t sizzle in the runway photographs, but every young woman in the room felt it. As the audience exited, a general cry of, ‘Oh, I just want to be like that,’ was ricocheting through the crowd.” Fortunately, it’s not too late.