PARIS--I was not supposed to attend Céline. However, my fairy godmother secured me a ticket at the 11th hour, which means I hightailed it down to the Tennis Club de Paris on the outskirts of the city just minutes before the show was about to start. My cab wouldn't take me right there--84 Georges Lafont--because it's technically outside of the city line, so I ran the last ten minutes of the trip.
I'm happy to report that I arrived as they began to rip the plastic off of the runway. (Which, by the way, seemed to be made out of some sort of cork.) The standing spots were terrible, so I plopped myself on the edge of the pit.
It was then and there that I decided, other than A-A-4, you can't get much better than sitting with the photogs. I watched designer Phoebe Philo's women gingerly walk down the runway in low-slung, wide-legged pants, jumpsuits in everything from denim to leather (also low-slung), and several shells with squared shoulders that looked as though they were made of a mix of cotton and neoprene. The models wore their hair in low ponytails, their crowns teased to perfection.
My favorite piece was a collarless waist-length jacket with a clean closure--no buttons. The sleeves were almost cape-like, creating what can only be described as little wings. It was grown-up perfection.
The interesting thing about Philo though, is that while she makes decidedly grown-up clothes, the women who wear them are very girly, childish even, about their love for her. It was like a Céline costume party as I left the venue--box bags here, the more affordable tote bags there. Don't get me wrong: if I had head-to-toe Celine, I would have been wearing it, too. I only own one Céline item--a vintage monogrammed clutch circa 1970s. And I sadly left it at home.
To me, Philo is the closest thing my generation will have to Coco Chanel. In the same way we covet our Chanel bags and tweed jackets today, our daughters will be coveting Philo's leather t-shirts and wide-leg pants twenty, thirty, forty years from now.