The outpouring of grief in the wake of Phoebe Philo leaving Céline (when it was a brand with an é, that is) was palpable in Paris during fashion week earlier this month. It's not often you'll see such emotion regarding a designer and their clothing unless they have passed. Philo has left the building, leaving behind a contingent of people who don't know where to shop next. There's even a new Instagram account dedicated solely to the glories of seasons past called @oldceline.
Style du Monde
Irina Linovich and Julie Pelipas in a whole load of old Celine.
"Today, a group of women gathered to honour Phoebe Philo. From head to toe, they proudly wore their Celine to celebrate the beautiful work Phoebe and her team did over the last ten years. They bonded and gushed over stories of what Celine has meant to them in their lives. The Celine that they have always loved and cherished will live forever in their hearts. Thank you, Phoebe, for giving us Celine," read an Instagram post by street style guru and photographer Tommy Ton, who was in Paris to capture the iconic moment.
However you feel about the new phase the Parisian brand is going through, there will be women who read Who What Wear UK and feel equally lost. Even if your budget never stretched to Celine prices, your fashion tastes may have. Which is why I'm here to counsel you through this strange time.
Style du Monde
Giorgia Tordini epitomises the kind of Celine look of Philo's years: looser-fit, neutral colours, interesting styling details that don't look tricksy or too try-hard.
My wardrobe is certainly not stocked with Philo's creations (as much as I would have liked that), but her aesthetic is present thanks to the influence she cast upon so many corners of the industry—cheap and expensive. I do have a couple of Celine bags (one bought in Bicester Village) and a pair of visor sunnies. I'm also one of the faithful followers who managed to grab an initial pendant necklace in time before they were taken off the homepage (so what if everyone and their grandma's chinchilla has one?).
Style Du Monde
Natasha's old-Celine look includes the pleated skirt of our dreams (aka the one that got away).
Below you can find my shopping solutions for finding brands that are like Celine in one way or another. I don't mean to blaspheme (almost nothing is comparable, I know), but we have to start somewhere.
This online Vietnamese brand has some distinctly old-Celine themes going on. You're welcome.
Although there are definitely major differences between the Olsen twins' The Row and Philo's Celine, there is a similar emphasis on super-luxurious fabrics and construction, as well as a neutral colour palette with the occasional mad moment of colour, texture or print.
You may think I've gone insane comparing Uniqlo to Celine, but bear with me. The Japanese high-street brand's simple pieces are often rendered in the right kind of colours—just buy multiples (like two jumpers so you can wear one and tie one around your neck), or size up to make something look more "designed," like a bigger men's blazer.
There's something about this Australian designer's use of colour, drape and fabric combinations that gives us some old-school Celine feels.
Has Phoebe's departure made you worry for your shoe and boot collection? Me too. So I'm stocking up on the cool (and actually more affordable) designs of Bulgarian accessories label By Far.
Joseph's exaggerated tailoring and extra attention to detail (like a coat with a belt bag attached to it, and rendered in zebra-print ponyskin—winning!) make this British brand a strong contender for your new go-to.
Lemaire is one of those brands fashion insiders like to try and keep to themselves. He's also the mastermind behind Uniqlo's U collection, so technically there's a double-up in Christophe Lemaire produce in this gallery. But that's no bad thing: The Frenchman and his co-designer and partner, Sarah-Linh Tran, make minimalism look anything but dull.
And of course, if all else fails, hit up some pre-loved Celine on Vestiaire Collective.