This weekend, my dear friend and art connoisseur China Chow pointed out the distinct parallel between Phoebe Philo‘s colorblocked envelope clutch out of Céline’s Spring 2012 collection and Susan Rothenberg‘s iconic 1976 painting “Four Color Horse” on her Instagram account. This would hardly occur to most people, unless you’re an avid art collector.
Earlier this year, many in the industry also commented on a more obvious correlation: the uncanny resemblance of a Céline Fall 2013 runway trapeze jacket and a wool jersey coat from Geoffrey Beene, circa 2004 (the same year of Beene’s passing). Naturally, all designers draw inspiration from art, life, and fellow designers (and it’s decidedly less obvious and more intriguing to appropriate fine art into the modern wardrobe). But from one runway to another – that’s another story. Some might say the unarguably intelligent and influential Phoebe Philo is performing a new form of commentary, a form of tribute. And some will argue this is nothing but a bold hijacking. Either way, it’s no accident, but the question remains: Has Phoebe gone too far? Discuss.
Clutch/Painting Photo Credit: China Chow