The phrase “Old Cèline” holds different weight for each individual women. For some, it’s remembering the magazine in which you first saw an image of Daria Werbowy clutching an orange skateboard, while dressed only in a sleek pair of track pants. For others, it’s a closet filled with a lineup of the iconic handbags that were churned out under Phoebe Philo‘s decade-long run at the French brand. Regardless, every fan of the brand holds some sort of emotional claim to the way Celine used to be before Hedi Slimane‘s takeover. Luckily for them, that feeling is being well-documented on Instagram at @oldceline.
Philo’s departure from the brand was announced in December 2017—and its declaration felt like a collective heartbreak among many longtime Celine devotees.
“Philo’s clothes were not just simply for women; they were also about women—their distractions, their routines, the way they stuff a bag under an arm or concoct an outfit out of a dress and trousers, their sideways longing for red-lipped glamour, their disdain for basics, their love of uniforms, their wisdom and maturity,” one writer aptly described.
So when it was announced—just a month later—that Slimane would be taking over as the artistic, creative and image director at Celine, the most loyal fans of the brand were skeptical of what his appointment would bring. That feeling was cemented even further when, on September 3rd, it was revealed that Celine would be shedding the accent that hovered over that first “E.” That accent had been in place since the brand was founded in Paris in 1945, so it led many to wonder what other traditions would be discarded chez Celine.
That early fall day was also when the Toronto-based Gabrielle Boucinha launched @oldceline, by simply posting a few of her favorite images from the brand on a new Instagram account.
“I’ve had a large collection of campaigns and photos from the [Celine] shows that I’ve always been saving. When they announced that Hedi was taking over, I really wanted to start something where everything could be in one place,” she tells CR. She then followed a few of her favorite fashion figures–including Virgil Abloh—and was stunned to see that her humble account was swiftly followed by the industry’s top designers, influencers, editors, photographers, and buyers.
The perfect photograph was always alluring to Philo and perhaps explains exactly why even her ad campaigns—including the one that starred Joan Didion—felt just as special as pure fashion editorials. “I surround myself with images for their emotional qualities. I get an energy from their tenderness, strength, and glamour that I’m very responsive to,” Philo once said.
The colorful and often artistic images on @oldceline stand in stark contrast to the mostly black and white aesthetic of Celine’s new and revamped Instagram presence. Whereas Philo’s Celine was all about creating clothing for real, working females, Hedi’s approach was true to the rock ‘n roll tendencies he first unveiled at Dior Homme and then brought to Saint Laurent. In a sense, his Celine debut felt both stale and out of touch with what the Celine customer is all about. In today’s political climate, where women are looking for ways to feel comfortable in their own skin among the world they live in, there’s an undeniable nostalgia for Philo’s thoughtful aesthetic.
“I’ve gotten a lot messages from a lot of women saying, ‘Thank you for this account, it reminds of specific times in my life when I was really happy,’ Boucinha says. “It reminds them of how confident and powerful they felt wearing Phoebe’s designs. I think that really displays the power that clothing can have beyond being just clothing.”
Boucinha, who graduated from Reyerson University this past April has plans to take @oldceline beyond just iPhone screens. She promises to launch a website soon, which will be stocked with all the merch of your Philo influenced dreams. Further down the line, Boucinha hopes to publish a book on the designer’s era at Celine—and luckily, she has some key insider help.
“I’ve been getting a lot of messages from people who work at the corporate [Celine] offices in New York and Paris. They’re saying that they would love to be a part of anything,” she mentions. While a lot of those employees admit that they plan to stay with the Hedi-helmed brand, they’re clearly keen to make sure we all remember the Philo era at Celine.
prev link: https://www.crfashionbook.com/fashion/a23738984/old-celine-instagram-account-phoebe-philo/
createdAt:Fri, 12 Oct 2018 14:29:36 +0000
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