Phoebe Philo is a family woman and makes no qualms about it. She does not pretend or aspire to be the late-partying, champagne-swilling girl she is wont to portray at Céline. Her fall collection, except for pale leather thigh-high boots a fashion-savvy dominatrix might wear, was more about warm and fuzzy than cool and aloof.

Her models seemed to float out in a creamy palette of eggshell, faint blue, and dusty peach, with only a hint of black on shoes or in a button. They were swaddled in snug sweaters or they swam in enormous diva coats—like something an opera-goer might have donned in the ’50s, sans pearls—with equally enormous collars that fanned out to the edge of the shoulder, or with extra-wide cuffs that spanned the length of the forearm. These were sumptuous, sublime cocoons. In the models’ grasp were fuzzy, flat clutches that, when held close to the body, took on a fortune-cookie shape. There were no loud colors or garish prints of any kind.

More challenging dresses had built-in sleeves sprouting from the shoulder or the waist and tied in front at the belly, as you might expect a woman to do if she were discreetly hiding a pregnancy. To the Céline woman, privacy is the ultimate luxury.

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