Phoebe Philo has been at the helm of the label for her third collection and has reinvented minimalism and sparseness. For Spring 2011 this feeling was heightened by the predominance of white, ivory, and other pale shades. Still, Philo has loosened things up a bit. Pants are long and more flowy, with deep hems. And with the exception of a super blazer-cape hybrid, she’s mostly rejected tailored jackets in favour of tunics, popover tops, and even a Baja jacket.
Philo embraces the artisanal: beautifully handwoven silk, quilting, raw canvas and denim, even long fringes on scarves. Prints are another area of interest the designer began exploring in the pre-collection. The geometric designs—riffs on vintage foulards—had a graphic sportiness that played counterpoint to the craft. Precision sportswear that emphasized sporty over sharp.
Keeping in line with the Moroccan-North African train of thought, Philo wove traditional workwear–note the apron pockets and jumpsuits-cum-coveralls–into a collection that was anything but bourgeois. Masculine touches abound in the low-slung trousers with exposed zippers. An Asian undercurrent emerged as the show progressed, witnessed in the contrast waistband and graphic scarf prints in blue, green and red that showed up on shirts quilted judo vests. The clean, modernist lines Philo has become synonymous with echoed through in the now iconic house white shirts–now done as a long djellaba. Perhaps the most eye-catching? The soft tan leather pieces paired with soft-blue chambray and deep royal blue. For evening the collection evolved into multi-coloured rainbow stripes across the hips and down the side seams. Simply sublime!