Monday, January 26, 2015


Céline SS15 silk necklaces/belts: limoges porcelain body parts and a gold brass bell | Erwin Blumenfeld, The Eye of Male Mortality, 1947
For S/S 2015, Phoebe Philo continues to inject the decorative and surreal to maximize the minimalism at Céline.  The accessories create tension and fragility to pragmatic silhouettes and restrained shapes. 

Rendered in stark white porcelain, Philo’s art objects hark back to neoclassic Hellenic statues. Here, however, the classical form is shattered. It’s broken and displaced--strung on twisted silk to hang from the neck and hug the waist. A reinterpretation of the "ideal" beauty turns into a questioning, convulsive one. Alteration occurs and narrative follows.  

Stills from Jean Cocteau's 1930 film The Blood of a Poet

Costume design by Adrian, The Women, 1939 | Claude Cahun, Untitled (Surrealist hands), 1939 

The concept looks to the surrealist fascination with body dislocation as transformation. Think prefix “dis.” Distortion. Disorder. Disruption. Dis Magazine. Philo’s exercise in “dis” is an eternal device to infuse both meaning and mystery to Céline's refined luxury. It’s story-telling to the core and suggests the duality of womanhood: both strength and vulnerability can and will co-exist.

Large bell detail.  

 Bells offer more context to the garments. Historically, on one hand they conjure necessity and purpose as a tool: signaling/time keeping/warning. On another, they reference the mystical, supernatural, and godly, byway of ceremony and ritual. Bells after all are commonly said to possess good luck and ward off evil.  

The bells in the collection seem to be worn like protective talismans, projecting both spirituality and power onto the wearer. 
  Biomorpic and abstract in shape, they recall Jean Arp sculptures and Elsa Peretti jewelry.

Viking bell pendant from Latvia, c. 800 -1,100 AD | Indonesian gold bell pendant, c. 8th–12th century | Elsa Peretti for Tiffany & Co. sterling silver urn pendant, 1970s | Two Elsa Peretti for Halston perfume bottle necklaces, c. 1975  | Jean (Hans) Arp, Déméter, 1964 | Elsa Peretti for Tiffany & Co. gold/lapis lazuli perfume bottle necklace, c. ? 

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