Céline Fall 2011 Show Review

Céline Fall 2011 collection

Photos: Imaxtree

Looks from the Céline Fall 2011 collection

SHOW: Céline (See the full runway collection)

ACCESSORIES: High- and kitten-heeled pumps, small cases with top-handles, two-tone Doctor's bags.

OVERALL TAKEAWAY: 400-miles per hour fashion—sleek, powerful and unstoppable

If any collection in Paris this week showed a need for speed, it was Phoebe Philo for Céline. That’s a bit of a witless pun, as her collection was based on the interiors of classic cars, but it’s also emblematic of Philo's fashion approach as a whole. Her aesthetic at Céline has been obsessed with moving forward—even while sneakily glancing in the rearview mirror to the Minimalist chic of ‘90s stalwarts such as Helmut Lang. And this latest collection was no exception.

The shapes were clean, sleekly engineered like the chassis of a roadster, including Philo’s favorite single-turned-double breasted top-coat (this time in a rich marmalade) and a few cavalry twill knee-length dresses that were so firmly shaped by their seaming they appeared almost molded. If the shapes echoed the exteriors of classic cars, the textures of these clothes evoked the interiors: bubbly upholstered leather, fur in slightly off shades of maroon, cream and brown, a few patchwork sweaters and some silk separates printed to look like woodgrain.

This was another layer of armor for the ever-increasing numbers of women joining the Céline army: There's plenty to choose from here, with sleek, chic coats, taut pants and a skinny white jersey turtleneck under every look. On paper, that latter may sound Vegas Lounge Lizard, but in fact it looked like the most modern thing we saw all week.