I have a theory. The continual rise in popularity of the humble dress is down to one thing and one thing alone – ill-fitting trousers. Dresses, and to a certain extend skirts, are fairly easy to just throw on and go. When I’m getting a dress, I barely even bother to try then on. After all, not much can go wrong with the fit of a dress that a sneaky little waist-belt can’t fix, right? Skirts are pretty similar too, as long as it fits at the waist or hips then the rest should just call into place. Trousers on the other hand are a different kettle of fish. Depending on the cut and style, they’ll need to fit properly at the waist, hips, thighs, be the right length, flatter the old posterior and somehow manage to be on trend.
I simply don’t think that it’s something that high-street chains can pull off very well. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve tried on a gorgeous pair of trousers only to be horrified at how poorly they were made or how terrible the fit was. Even these Topshop trousers which I instantly loved have been relegated to the back of my wardrobe now as they have lost their shape. Even my Zara work trousers are redundant now, the fit is actually pretty good, everywhere but the waist it’s just huge. The high street should definitely take note of Celine’s highly anticipated perfect trouser collection which is a capsule collection of five perfect trouser shapes.
With her dedication to carving out the perfect silhouette and emphasis on tailoring, Phoebe Philo is the perfect person to design the perfect trousers. She’s had an army of fans since her days at Chloe. I loved Stella Maccartney’s work at Chloe and thought she’d be a tough act to follow but Phoebe absolutely nailed it she put her own stamp on the established brand and simultaneously took it into a new direction. As well as being beautifully designed, her collections were a commercial success with sales going stellar. When she quit the label for a short hiatus, many eagerly awaited her return. Two years ago, LVMH lured Phoebe back to head up one of its quieter labels – Celine. For Phoebe, it was a great opportunity to work with a pretty blank canvas.
Her work at Celine has won her rave reviews, awards and she’s been propelled into that elite group of ‘one of the most influential fashion designers of our time’. At Celine, she has steered well clear of trends and has been producing collections of pared down, minimalist, utilitarian pieces with a slightly masculine edge. Her use of camel, zips, leather accents and clean silhouettes has already filtered down to the high-street, just look at Zara.
The trouser collection features five key shapes – the high-waisted wide leg from Celine archives, tapered leg, cropped tube leg, pleated tapered leg and the men’s straight leg – which will form the basis of your wardrobe, so it should be worth the hefty price tag. Celine have said ‘There is no shortcut to making an excellent pair of trousers, which is what makes them so rare. It takes a commitment to technique, a deep knowledge of tailoring and understanding of how to elongate differing female body alignments. Then there is the critical element: the fashion informed judgement which makes a proportion right, so it synchs effortlessly with a shoe, a top, a jacket for today’.