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As Phoebe Philo exits Céline after almost 10 years – and 17 collections – we celebrate her legacy by remembering her best moments and most iconic pieces: those that will last forever.

Thank you Phoebe Philo, for sharing your talent, for setting a context for empowered women, for bringing art to fashion and for not caring at all about the internet. You do in fact know what women want and we can't wait to see your next move.

Philo introduced the glove ballerina in her Céline Spring 2015 collection. Another, literally, big hit: these Céline Pre-Fall 2015 earrings. Céline Belt Bag from the Fall 2014 campaign.

1. The glove ballerina

The glove ballerina wasn’t a given when it came – it did indeed look like something we weren’t used to. It wasn’t the first or last ugly-chic Céline shoe either (the reframed Birkenstock came first). But after a few years on the market it’s the default ballerina and everyone imitates. We like the flats more than the heels and they are often available in different sizes and colors both new and on resale sites such as Vestiaire Collective.

2. The accessory effect

No-one has so consistently and brilliantly put it in the details as Phoebe Philo. Her sculptural, geometric jewellery, often oversized and just a little bit odd, have set the stage for a whole new world of accessories. Focus on your accessories and the rest can be the same all year around – and wear your jewellery as art.

3. The modern ‘it’ bags

The Trapeze, the Trio, The Cabas, The Luggage, The Nano, The Phantom. Alongside Johnny Coca, who was Céline’s head design director for leather goods, shoes, hard accessories, jewellery and sunglasses between 2010 and 2015, Phoebe Philo has given Louis Vuitton and Gucci a real ‘it’ bag match. And most of them are timeless enough to wear year after year.

Daria Werbowy in Céline Spring 2013 campaign. Binx Walton in perfect basics in the Céline Fall 2017 campaign. Flamingos shot by Juergen Teller for the Céline Fall 2012 campaign.

4. Sun sensation

Name one person who didn’t crave the sunglasses from Céline’s spring 2013 campaign? And what’s even more worth noticing: they still work. And timeless sunglasses is not an easy product to make, if you think about it.

5. Brave basics

By merging her affinity for menswear, and always covering the basics, Phoebe Philo has managed to hit a contemporary nerve almost every season at Céline. It’s often said that she’s a designer who knows what women wants, and she’s never made a big thing of it. By aiming to, simply, make something strong, she has managed to turn the basic to bold and brave.

6. All about art

Phoebe Philo is all about referencing art, and together with photographer Juergen Teller she has found a way of combining arts, interior, nature, animals and skateboards in fashion campaigns in a way that have been a pleasure to watch – whether you’re a fashion fan or not.

The inimitable Joan Didion for Céline Spring 2015. Daria Werbowy channeling Didion in the Céline Resort 2015 campaign. Daria for the Céline Fall 2012 campaign.

7. Casting Joan Didion

Phoebe Philo casted then 80 year-old author Joan Didion for Céline’s spring 2015 campaign. It was wonderful, although some disagreed, and paved way not only for a wider age range among models chosen to be the face of brands, but also for casting people; with thoughts, feelings and ideas.

8. Perfect knitwear

Knits haven’t been the focus of Célines ad campaigns–but when it comes to long-lasting trends set by Phoebe Philo, the perfectly oversized cashmere crew neck is certainly one of them. Ridiculously expensive, but the luxe cashmere does last a lifetime if you care for it right. And it’s not impossible to find pre-owned ones that are still in pristine condition. A real wardrobe staple.

9. The Daria look

Model Daria Werbowy and Phoebe Philo worked together for seven seasons, and the campaigns, shot by Juergen Teller, have defined the look of the moment every single time. Some of the imagery will stay in our memories forever.


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