six rules of Céline f/w 2014/15

Without Phoebe Philo, we wouldn't have understood the appeal of a furry flat, the importance of a polo neck, the potential of laundry bag check. At Céline, Philo has taught us the importance of less is more and promoted elegance, modernity, clean lines, subtle details and quality of fabric and finish.

With the help of super stylist Camilla Nickerson, Philo has also introduced countless clever styling techniques that are copied the world over. Some archive examples:

1. Wearing flat sandals with a suit.
2. Pulling a shirt hem down so that it shows just below a skirt line.
3. Wearing a flower on the lapel.
4. Tucking a handbag tight under one's arm.
5. Draping a coat over one's shoulders. 
6. A skateboard/houseplant makes for a chic accessory.

Here, to celebrate the release of Fall 2014, we consider six styling techniques from the Céline Fall 2014 collection with illustrations by Clym Evernden.

1. Wear your jumper sleeves long 

It's a look borrowed from the 90s. Think of those iconic grunge photos where jumpers were long and baggy, with holey sleeves bunched over the hands. The difference here is the Céline jumper is made of beautiful cashmere. Note the rollneck isn't folded – a favourite look of Philo's and seen in one of her favourite portraits by David Sims. Buy your jumper two sizes too big.

2. Wear big pants

A transparent skirt is the last thing we would expect from a Céline collection but here, it is worn with a long-sleeved black top (key lesson: if you're showing the bottom half, then cover the top, and vice versa) with boxy shorts underneath. Even if you're not going for the transparent skirt, boxy pants are the way forward. If Céline made knickers, they would no doubt be sleek shorts in nude or black, rather than a slinky thong in pink satin. Key to this look is the 10 denier stockings worn with pointy flats.

3. Reconsider hoop earrings

Hoops have a bad reputation. Think Elizabeth Duke; Sporty Spice; Jessie J; Carrie Bradshaw. Yet, in this new context (note the change from gold/silver to black), they are something totally fresh. Perhaps Philo is revisting her own personal style when she studied at Central Saint Martins. “I was a clubber. I had a gold tooth and was into the punk thing. Everyone says they can’t imagine me like that but it is still very much a part of me,” Philo told the South China Morning Post in 2010. “It’s still in there, in me, that kinda bit of ghetto."

4. Tie your jumper around your waist

It's not that far away from the long jumper sleeves, in that the jumper becomes almost a comfort blanket, creating a cosy feeling. Tying one's jumper around your shoulders wouldn't be right for the Céline woman, but round the waist adds that perfect air of insouciant cool. Jumpers tied around waists are often seen on schoolboys who are too hot after sports activities. In this Céline way, the grey mohair and cashmere knit adds to the silhouette, creating a skirt-over-trousers look.

5. Wear clashing prints and contrasting fabrics

Once upon a time, it was a faux pas to wear black with navy, or for shoes to be worn without socks. Designers such as Miuccia, Rei and Marc have all shown us that it's fine and fun to break the rules. Pairing clashing prints – in this case, vertical stripes and criss-cross – is almost like collage art. To clash demonstatres a fashion choice that is brave and confident.

6. Understand the new hemline

Philo is never afraid to play around with the hemline. In this collection, she never goes far above the knee. This is one of the strongest lengths, sitting mid-calf. Her black structured knit dress is worn here with the pointy loafer and no socks.

Text by Laura Bradley
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