Celine Pre-Fall 2012 Collection

Fans of Celine’s signature tapered cigarette pants were left for want of that oh-so-Phoebe Philo modern cut at her Spring ready-to-wear collection last October, but in return, were granted with an even more consistent Celine proposition – the fresh factor – by way of those rounded couture shapes that played beautifully with the voluminous proportions of those chiffon paneled pants that dominated the line-up. For Pre-Fall, Philo hasn’t completely abandoned the rounded cuts, nor the baggy fits, and as evidenced by a tapered color-blocked trouser, champagne in the front, matte white on the back, she obviously isn’t ready to forsake what’s been making her loyal following covetous and hungry for the hot-again brand since taking over the helm in 2010.

The brand’s newly redefined DNA has staked out specific ground in a little over two years’ time – visionary outerwear, a very specific and crisp color palette, chiffon and leather paneling, statement sweaters, the cigarette pant, leather and fur combinations – and they were all here in all their fresh-all-over-again splendor. Philo’s main objective from the beginning has always been the pursuit of the holistic wardrobe, so it’s no surprise that finding the strongest factor in this collection is nearly impossible. What feels fresher? What are the best offerings? Could it be the keenly conceived sweaters? – the color-blocked turtleneck with an extended ribbed front was a notable offer, as was that white spotted pilly knit worn against some severely fresh leather baggy pants. The leather, in all its variations, from the thick swatch on the planket of a belted brocade coat, to its use on monochromatic head-t0-toe looks, like a bowed leather top with matching baggy pants – all felt so intrinsically hip, not even of today, but of tomorrow.

But it’s truly the fur that runs away with the show this time around. The play was sometimes slight, as with the affixed fur scarf collars on simpler looks, like Philo’s new black jumpsuit, even more inviting than last Pre-Fall’s sleeveless option, and at other moments, more aggressively, like on an all-black shorn mohair sweater with a matching skirt. But her true fur coup was the fiery piebald fur coat that matched the graphic print of the ensemble underneath. With dozens of houses yet to show their collections, it’s hard not to jump the gun and call that look the definitive Pre-Fall season get-up.