2010 October 4

Runway Reviews: Celine, Givenchy, John Galliano

Celine Spring 2011 Celine Spring 2011
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Those die-hard Philophiles who worried about all the Celine-esque garb on the shelves at Zara and the like may breathe easy, because Phoebe Philo's Spring 2011 doesn't rely strictly on the clean lines, neutral shades, and ultra-pure minimalism that can appear easy to duplicate. Instead, Philo turned towards fabric and texture, mixing and matching her usual calfskins and silks with a flyaway quilted vest and even scarf print blouses and pants. The pieces that will generate the most editorial buzz are a handwoven silk halter, tied together loosely in back, and short-sleeved hooded coat, flawlessly conceived in shades of white and straw that recalled an animalesque texture. Other fabrics of note included fringed silk scarves, seen in the first few tonal looks of slouchy white trousers with ultra-structured tops. On the accessory front, sand-colored peep toes and buff sandals with a few inches of tacked-down chain detail played nicely against a new fold-up style bag and multi-pocketed clutch in bordeaux. Expect the front row to follow suit.

Riccardo Tisci addressed an impressive amount of ideas in his Spring 2011 collection, and they mostly manifested as textures. The extreme play between transparency and opacity made for some intriguing, if not entirely wearable, looks, although for every midriff-baring jacket or silk chiffon floor-grazer that revealed every last inch of leg, there was a brocade silk trouser, pebble-ishly quilted vest, or high-tech zipped-every-which-way sheath. Loyal to his usual palette of black, nude, and china white, Tisci tossed in a leopard print—staying power alert!—to keep things lively. The focus on layering, and the (dare we say it?) playful mix of bohemia and bondage may not feel entirely new, but it's what Tisci does best.

With the 1920s charaltan Maria Lani as a muse, and the Opera Comique as a venue, John Galliano's take on Spring could easily verge into OTT territory, but this designer's runway shows—whether in an abandoned train station or at the Halle Freyssinet—are more than the sum of their style and sauce. Look beyond the theatrics and focus instead on the lush floral-print silk trousers in a sophisticated shade of teal, and pay close attention to an off-the-shoulder long-sleeved evening gown in ivory with burnished gold beadwork. The magpie layering, and the off-kilter effect lent by a handful of tailored pieces in a collection mostly of amorphous silk, was both glittering and solid gold. Thirty looks like these are all you need.