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Phoebe Philo is Set to Speak at a Swiss Arts Festival Next Year


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Engadin Art Talks, an annual arts and architecture symposium, must have seen a surge in ticket sales following the announcement of a star speaker on its 2019 programme: Phoebe Philo, the former Céline creative director who has famously shied away from publicity throughout her fashion career.

The festival, which will take place in the Alpine ski resort of Zuoz in the region of Engadin on January 26 and 27, is billed as a “holistic visitors’ experience”. Experts from the fields of art, design, film, architecture, science and literature will come together to discuss this year’s theme: “How do gravity and grace define current-day life in the digital age?”

Philo will join longtime collaborator Juergen Teller, who shot most of the Céline campaigns during her decade at the helm, choreographer Cecilia Bengolea, musician Anthony Moore, architect Arno Brandlhuber and artist Lena Henke for the panel discussions led by EAT founding members Daniel Baumann, Bice Curiger, Hans-Ulrich Obrist and Philip Ursprung.

Since Philo presented her final Céline Fall 2018 collection in March 2018, it is understood that she has been focusing on her private life. Her successor, Hedi Slimane, who is hailing a new accent-less future at the brand, however, has garnered numerous column inches for his work so far. “We don’t enter a fashion house to imitate our predecessor, much less to take over the essence of their work, their codes and elements of language,” Slimane has commented when asked about filling Philo’s shoes. Philo, in turn, has remained quiet.

Will Switzerland’s creative forum see her break her silence on Céline’s new dawn as Celine? For a woman who is as discreet as the luxuriously minimal fashion that has become her calling card, it’s hard to imagine, but watch Philo-philes flock to EAT in hope.

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