Ola Rudnicka in “I’ve Been Thinking About You” by Ward Ivan Rafik for Vamp #2 Fall Winter 2014.
Phoebe Philo puts austerity in fashion
Phoebe Philo, the creative director of Celine brand for five years, pretended to refuse this “I” there, but draws women in large coats that look like him, so steep they seem to keep standing alone. When I said, it is for the combine with a principle. “My work has nothing to see with the physical women, but their power. My job is to get stronger again. In the growing popular, they are very sexualized and I do not like it. I love the simplicity that reassures. I want to go against the idea that women are always busy to seduce.”
Not sure if its liberating passionate fervor empire LVMH who named - and which belongs Celine - rich crazy Asian brand or fashionistas seeking, there more than elsewhere, the “must have”. But she did not budge. She keeps coming back. You do understand that all she has to say is in these few sentences. “My work speaks for me. Revolution I want, they are less sexualized women, who stop running after perfection, and work for them themselves.” It would almost look like an independent living light years golden avenues of luxury and fashion. “Céline is part of an industry , but it is free to express what we want. I’m not just working on the clothes, I am concerned, there is a philosophical approach.” In it, each endpoint is sound. It is take or leave.
Independent? She arrived there in late 2008 by a turnover in the world’s number one luxury and has become one of the most influential, the most honored and most copied in the fashion circuit. This teaches worn, flatly bourgeois dull or imaginary, she made an essential mark. “Céline had no archives, no own DNA into fashion. It was exciting, it gave me the latitude to recreate. It was a small company that could make my idea. I was not prevented by a past, a legacy. were all taken. “
"JE SUIS FLATTÉE D’ÊTRE COPIÉE"
She kept nothing from the front, not even a bag, a perfume or a logo, it just redesigned the accessories to decorate shops, more artistic director a stylist, she has nothing left to chance. A hard-line charges. The brand has never been more visible. And new stores should s’ open around the world.After Nicolas Ghesquiere for Balenciaga, today is Phoebe Philo for Céline gives the “the” fashion. Expected, commented, necessarily acclaimed, his shows are for five years, the highlight of Paris Fashion Week. Then, through major retailers, Zara Monoprix, street fashion makes Céeline. Or rather Phoebe Philo, imitating its flexible basket, the flagship of the house, its spotless robes shirts, coats his oversized wool. “I am flattered to be copied. I find it interesting to see how this is reworked . It is very functional, we do. It goes to the end of the world. “
Upon entering the 15 Cavendish Square, London, on one of these places and neat astiquées a center monopolized by foreign billionaires, we find ourselves at the foot of a staircase that winds and climbs into his office: verticality is, entrance, with her on top of the control tower. Up there, you soon realise it is a little violence in receiving us, it is suspicious, focused, timed, the smile just polite. Beforehand that we know will have to row a little for him take the picture. We also know very quickly when the question displeases him, something in his eyes harden immediately.
She does not like interviews, cultivates its rarity, leaking red carpet as women’s magazines, though stuffed with advertisements for Céline, who ask him the name of his children and his brand of night cream. It avoids personal questions. Do not include a book, a film, a creator, an author, an event which is marked. “Like a lot of things.” She reads the Guardian every morning. “I am interested in politics . I not believe everything I read, but I want to stay connected. ” nothing to say that could define themark . Check each word. “In my opinion, discretion is a source of strength. anonymity too. One belongs to nothing but itself.”
SA MODE EST COMME ELLE : RAIDE ET DÉTERMINÉE
Finally, its fashion as it is: stiff and determined. Or madness, or nonchalance, or exuberance. “To break the traditional female representations she played tissue stiffness away from the body. There are almost a rejection of the body”, explains Serge Carreira, a lecturer of a course entitled “Fashion and luxury” at Sciences Po Paris. Day parade, she said to her models, selected after extensive auditions supposed filter girls evanescent in favor of stronger personalities, walking very quickly and safely. They argue perched high, planted off the look, it is the north than in the south, in Bergman rather than Fellini. But this garment shaped armor they wear, this is the attack or defense? It is unclear, at the confluence of strong and fragile. Like her, authoritarian and discreet, and so never concrete, probably knows that the world of fashion destroys you and you eat. “Not Even” seem to say his creatures.
She was born in 1973 near Paris, the Franco-British hospital Levallois-Perret. His parents, the British settled in Montmartre, were visiting the father worked in the real estate , he was appointed to the Paris branch of his business. The designer mother stopped working time to raise her three children. Phoebe Philo was the eldest of a family middle class , tinged seventies. “My parents did not impose anything. It was freer than today. I was an independent child, a tomboy, always outside, I grew up in the suburbs of London then, I loved being in nature, I have always found the city quite toxic. “
JEUNE FILLE, “COOL ET DÉJÀ FORTE”
But LONDON - Swinging London, the street culture, its music, its individual challenges and eccentric when Paris cultivates what one is supposed to be -. Influenced it “Ado, I did my clothes myself, I have had many periods, styles. In England, everyone can say a style of its own and each generation seeks its identity. I always took my distance models of seduction.”
When she joined the prestigious Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, Department “fashion and textile”, which requires the input neither a diploma nor money in the cradle, it does not exactly know what she seeks. “I always wanted to do something with my hands, work faster and be independent from my family. “
His professor in charge of women’s fashion, Willie Walters, remembers “a cheerful girl with lots of friends, cool and already strong. She already had this look today, discreet and not too sexy perhaps more girly, but she was 20. And then at school, all the concepts are manipulated, all materials, we dare everything, even the wood, it already said it would be nice towear for women”. The school is a real reservoir of talent - John Galliano or Alexander McQueen have been there. But Phoebe Philo, again, would not have the air of belonging to a club. “level was very high. But those years, I mostly learned who I was, what I loved … and it could have happen elsewhere.” She graduated in 1996.
She quickly joined Stella McCartney, output a year earlier the Saint Martins College, at his request, Chloé. The English girls while in command of a fashion house in Paris, one inherited a rock’n’roll surname and knowsplay the ambassadors, the other works in the shadow she is not afraid .Insiders quickly spotted his talent and importance, and it is only natural that she remains at the helm when Stella McCartney hand fly with its own wings. It does not yet offer a conquering, but romantic femininity. Today, she no longer speaks of this period or this female duo who still sticks to his resume. “Not sure they still intend”, whispers the middle. The number two has gained so much importance…
DÉFILÉ ANNULÉ POUR CAUSE DE GROSSESSE
After Chloe, she left in 2006, it is however a little mind , she returned to London, married Max Wigram, which now has a contemporary art gallery on Bond Street, is a child, then a second. She is there when Bernard Arnault is the look on the advice of his daughter Delphine, for him to entrust the keys to Celine. Beforehand, so it poses a condition with his character and his sharp eyes: work in London ( “this is my house” ), preserving his life, even if creative workshops are in Paris. Is yes.
And yes it is still on the side of the highest levels of luxury when expecting her third child and cancels the high mass of the show due to pregnancy .”When it’s time to stop, I stop. I feel engaged. I’m not a machine, it has its weakness. We educated to never stop, I like to stop.” To better resume. Observers have noted that his return parade autumn-winter 2013, it had slipped from the flow under the big stiff coat, dress swayed on his knees, then the silk knots, pastels are emerged. The maker of fashion, bride-three children, seemed slightly lower guard. Softened.
RUPTURE AVEC LE BLING-BLING ET LE PORNO CHIC
It is no longer possible mode revolution, it is only cycles. The swank and glamor of the 1980s were swept away by the next decade, swept in turn by the bling-bling and chic porn 2000s embodied by Galliano and Dolce & Gabbana. Phoebe Philo represents a break with the era, she comes after the overflow. And while the body of the woman has become the challenge of a world torn too covered there, too offered here. In the “désexualisant” she offered him power and protection. “If people like it is indicative of the time”, she said. It is this generation that does not claim the word “feminist”, understood as a hatred of men and the world of luxury also falsely subversive. But stare at its unique principle, which takes the place of thought.
"It is exciting to be a woman in this world right now. I think many women, they are incredibly relevant. Being a fashion designer is thinking women." She distributed the day of the parade "Inspiration books", photo books without largely drawn from pop culture and underground legends, which show that she grew up in London in the 1970s. She designs for women lined sandals that will cause the magazines, but also tote fluids that may contain female ubiquity, office files and the last small blanket. After five years, the time of beginning and evidence is gone. The challenge for her is to live, to grow, take his cuts and wrapping materials.
A light sentence piece of contemporary art, waves above the fireplace in his office: “Where there is pressure, there is folkdance” (“Where there is pressure there is folk dance”). Indecipherable. Like her, who already has a name added to the list not so long creating women for women.
Patti Smith walked in your Fall/Winter 2006 men’s show for the first time. Were you the on who wanted this? It was purely a matter of chance. I was in Paris, preparing for the show, when she called me to say she was coming to the capital to do the promotion for her album and that it would be easy for her to make a visit to Antwerp. I was telling her that I’d be in Paris too, and Patti was completely into the idea of our getting together. She wasn’t at all interested in being part of the audience, she’d always dreamed of seeing me at work. She wanted to be at my side just as I often had been for her in the past, during and after her concerts. Patti took to the game really quickly, trying on all the pieces in the collection, putting the whole team in a good mood with improvised songs and then the day before the show, she just showed me the outfit she wanted to wear on the catwalk.
Ann Demeulemeester interview. encens magazine no 18 fall/winter 2006/2007
Ann Demeulemeester interview. encens magazine no 18 fall/winter 2006/2007
How would you describe your evolution during these last twenty years of fashion? Usually I say that a new collection is the concrete expression of everything that was missing in those that came before. Its like a steep hill that i have to climb. In twenty years, I’ve gradually scratched a furrow, the story of which, my story, is clothing. I’ve gotten better, I’ve acquired technical experience that allows me to go farther but i never stop learning
For two seasons, women’s and men’s have been shown together, but now they’re broken down into two distinct collections. Has that created any new possibilities for you? Absolutely. For a long time, I didn’t want to separate men’s and women’s. I didn’t think it was normal, it was like cutting life in two. Certainly, the necessity of making them walk separately is a response to my need for enlarging the scale of pieces available for men. But this is where i found happiness. Everything is not blended like it was before. It’s no longer a question of doing a jacket for women in the morning, and in the afternoon concentrating on men’s trousers. Now I work in two stages, beginning first with men’s, which leads me to undertake the women’s collection under another light, as if it were the second chapter of the same story. I believe that this different approach to my fashion can be seen in the final result.
When you began in 1987, your eminence grise, your world’s alter ego, Patryck Robyn, put together some sumptuous visuals. Why have you stopped doing it that way? There was no longer any reason. At the beginning of my career, I resisted the idea of a show. I thought that I absolutely wasn’t ready. To compensate for this, with Patrick, who was still a full time photographer, I produced catalogues of my collections. Then Patrick got more involved in the evolution of my label, to the point that at a certain point it seemed to us that, in order to keep together as a couple we needed to regroup our ambitions into one. Patrick had to do a lot of traveling and was sometimes absent for long periods. One day he decided to stop short when it came to leading a double life so that he could work with me. I’ll always be grateful for that.
What is your relationship to your past, your archives? Out of fear of disappointing myself, I’ve always refused to look back. But i have kept a lot of pieces that i considered the best of each of my collections from being sold. It has built into an enormous stock, which i keep in a separate room. However, the for the last months, my retrospective at Hyeres has required that i refresh my memory. Despite my apprehension, revisiting my career had been quite thrilling. Certain clothes haven’t aged at all. I could do them tomorrow without a problem. What are the most lasting, in the end, are the memories, flashes: I can rediscover my tears in a piece of clothing!
In your winter 2007 show, big hoods that can be wrapped around the body reminded me of a great moment in the fashion you’ve done. Were they directly inspired by your 1997 rectangles for wrapping around the body? My mentality’s different than it was ten years ago. In 1997, for the first time I wanted to set the counters back to zero and envision my collection as it I knew nothing. I worked without sketches without any bosses. All that was left was the material, the fabric. As if I no longer had any knowledge about clothing design, I made it move over me, I rolled myself into it and i put holes in it to stick my arms through it. It was a very strong experience, which will haunt my sense of fashion for life. Also that piece has become my emblem: at the workshop, my collaborators call it <the ann piece>. So yes, maybe this season more than the others is a prolongation of my research on clothing pure of all construction. But in the meantime, there has been ten years designing cuts, and my way of working feels the effect of it. For me, the guiding principle remains trying to explore unknown territory for each collection, but not confronting things that aren’t part of my sensibility. I’m always excited by the idea of starting with an element that I find ugly a priori and then transforming it in terms of my lexicon. The result makes me learn a lot about myself.
How have you been affected by your passion for Belgian fashion? I knew that it was going to pass. When I started, Antwerp was a no-man’s land, no journalist was interested in us. Then a wave of designers started making waves, almost to the rhythm of each new season, which helped to crystallize the phenomenon. Signs of enthusiasm from the press was very gratifying, to the extent that Belgium finally became synonymous with fashion. That said, I’ve always kept
Leather is essential to your collections. How have you succeeded in always finding treatments of it? I love leather, working with it is a permanent challenge. Cutting it doesn’t allow for the slightest approximation: you have to treat it with perfect mastery. I designed my first clothing in leather in 1993, a jacket that i still wear. The idea came to me from my brother who was working with sheepskin, and who initiated me to the countless textures that leather can engender. In addition, I quickly got alienated from my existing materials when it came to creating my own touches, as i experimented with novel qualities of the skins, which I love approaching like living tissue.
Would you live without making fashion your profession? That’s difficult to answer. I was only a teenager when i registered at the Academy at Antwerp, and I was more preoccupied with the world of music than that of fashion magazines. I was already ill at ease with the <chi chi> side of this profession. My girlfriends, who thought I was an astonishing phenomenon, strutted around in a Mugler look and Maud Frizon shoes. I needed some time to understand that i could appreciate a leather jacket by Montana without loving all fashion and being bound to reject it as a whole.
The obstinacy that characterizes you, did you have it then? Perhaps my decision to temporarily interrupt my career so that I could have a baby was also a form of stubbornness. Victor was born when I became conscious that I really wanted to make fashion my profession. His birth seemed to me essential before actually taking off, and there was no way in the world that I would have accepted letting time fly at the expense of my desire to have a child.
Do you follow the collections of other designers? Honestly, the feat of letting myself be influenced blocks me. I live a bit in my own bubble and concentrate in my own evolution. Of course, I see things but i dont pass my days trying to decipher them. Besides I have a closer relations with people in the arts or music than those in the fashion world. But I’m still very respectful of my peers, whose high standards give their creations soul. Even if they aren’t my taste, I’m the first to recognize their value.
"How can i make a collection from painter’s canvas? That was the basic question behind the summer 1999 collection. This favorite material, which she had already used for invitations, displays and even tables was ‘translated’ into an almost exclusively white collection, the shapes developing further on those she started for the Winter 1998 collection, were conceived from what Ann Demeulemeester describes as "zero base", the source of the ‘shape issue’; to set aside the repertoire of traditional patterns and to confront herself with the essence of a garment: a piece of material which you can wrap around yourself"
Ann Demeulemeester Spring/Summer 1999. from Belgian Fashion Design
"I’m interested in every designer whose soul can be found in their work. If they have an idea about who they are and can express that in their work, then I can appreciate it. It doesn’t matter if it’s not my style or to my personal taste, because if it is real and done in an original way then it is interesting."
Ann Demeulemeester in Dazed & Confused, April 2002
An Vandevorst selected questions/answers from Assouline’s The Fashion Questionnaire
Your favourite fabric – Felt and the fragile nylon of nylon stockings
Your favourite colour – If black is a colour, black. If not, then army green
The style you most dislike – No style
Your favourite fashion photographer – Ronald Stoops
Your shoe/shoe designer fetish – Black leather riding boots
Your ideal bag – Doctor’s bag
Your favourite designer – Filip Arickx
Your contemporary muse or inspiration – A mix of Joseph Beuys (for his primitive roughness) and Pina Bausch (for the elegance of dance and her strength and humour) with a hint of desert nomad.
What is your present state of mind? New year – new energy – new creativity – new things that will happen.
ann demeulemeester, 1993