The Céline Fall Collection Is a Lovely Lesson in Layering and Movement

Phoebe Philo offered up the kind of luxe, low-key separates that her loyal customers will want to live in.
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The finale walk at the Céline fall 2016 show. Photo: Imaxtree

The finale walk at the Céline fall 2016 show. Photo: Imaxtree

Phoebe Philo's seasonal collections for Céline are easily among the most coveted by the industry's female power players. Few designers nail the "laid-back luxe" aesthetic quite like she can, and her fans can always count on some clever styling tricks, artful silhouettes, soft plays on texture and a plethora of both standout outerwear and minimal leather accessories from each show. 

For fall 2016, Philo played with elongated proportions and thoughtful layering, making for a relaxed collection that still looked polished. Wide-legged silk pants that brushed the floor as models walked were worn underneath ruched satin dresses, oversized oxford shirts, utilitarian vest-like frocks with silver snaps down the center and texturized black knits in a cocoon-like shapes. Roomy raincoats and classic trenches were updated in both khaki and supple leather (a pair of the latter came in rich shades of blue) and other jackets revealed drawstring and undone belt details when seen from the back.

A number of simple tunics and silk dresses were haphazardly tied up in knots, and cozy turtlenecks were a popular base layer — two styling elements that can instantly give a basic ensemble more intrigue. As for the accessories, minimal leather sandals (either flat or with a mid-height heel) made up the footwear, and new handbag shapes were modeled in various ways: tied around the waist, wrapped around the models' hands or simply held as a clutch, ignoring the straps completely.

While the color palette was kept mainly neutral, pops of pastel yellow, marigold, powder blue and bright green helped to give the collection a seasonless feel — something that is a huge selling point these days. Once you have the layering thing down, most of these pieces could get heavy rotation in your wardrobe all year long.

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