Philo was at the design helm of the LVMH-owned label for a decade, helping cement the French luxury ready-to-wear and leather goods brand as a sought-after brand.
She was famous for her style of ‘polished ease’, a skillful blend of feminine and masculine styling that played with oversized silhouettes and sculptural accessories that fashion enthusiasts went gaga for. Playful, thoughtful and unexpected elements that drew comparisons with the art scene were a regular occurrence.
Now, the British designer has revealed her own line, established with minority backing from her previous employer LVMH. It appears she has stuck to the style recipe that made her famous, something that will delight fans of her work, colloquially known as “Philophiles.”
The new line debuted on the brand’s website, phoebephilo.com and spans numerous categories, from ready-to-wear, footwear, handbags and jewellery to eyewear.
The fashion is refined and polished but with clever and unique design details. Colours are muted, mostly in black, white, olive and oxblood, and logo-free. Sharp suiting and coats look fresh and familiar at once with oversized leather jackets, high-waisted wool trousers and high-neck knitwear reminiscent of her previous work. Shiny shift dresses with fluffy, frayed edging offer a solution for a night out, and a number of dramatic ‘show pieces’ bring the drama.
An oversized leather tote will no doubt be seen on fashion’s who’s who in the coming weeks and square-toe pumps in black, white and patent red are likely to be a hit too.
A chunky necklace with the repeating word “Mum” in 23-karat gold, may be a reference to Philo’s own three children.
The response appears to have been quick, with many items already displaying a ‘sold out’ notice online.
There has been little fanfare around the brand, unveiled to press last Friday during one-on-one appointments in a London showroom, with clothes hung on racks and jewelry and accessories displayed on tables.
This may be because the line is reported to be somewhat limited in availability, with no more than 100 of each item having been produced, likely to foster hype around the brand. According to WWD, Philo will be sticking to periodic releases she calls ‘edits’, rather than seasonal drops, focusing on building blocks of a wardrobe that will span seasons and if the designer gets her wish, decades.
“As part of our determination to address overall environmental impact, our focus is on the material issues of overconsumption, waste and the fashion supply chain. Our aim is to create a product that reflects permanence,” the fashion house said in a statement according to WWD.
“The Phoebe Philo business model is designed to create a responsible balance between production and demand. For us, this means producing notably less than anticipated want,” it added.
The prices of the line are unsurprisingly high, £5,900 for a leather jacket with an attachable scarf; £12,000 for a double-breasted shearling coat; £6,200 for a large, chocolate brown bag; £700 for a pair of leggings. A white T-shirt costs £800 while sunglasses are £540.