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Deciphering Phoebe Philo’s Personal Style

October 2003. Photo: Giovanni Giannoni

If you find it difficult to picture Phoebe Philo in a dress, try imagining her in a midriff-baring corset, like she wore in her early years in Paris. “My 20s were just hectic,” Philo told Vogue in 2005, just before stepping off fashion’s carousel for three years to nest and, she said, get “the fundamentals in my life set up.” She stepped back on the merry-go-round in 2009, finding a home at Celine. There, this self-described “working designer” set about creating a quality wardrobe for modern women, like herself, who value ease and practicality over fast, trend-driven fashion.

So just how does Philo put that philosophy into practice in her own wardrobe? Consistency, in a word. Philo has a go-to uniform, mostly in black and white that’s tried and tested. “I love, I absolutely love menswear,” Philo has said. This she might pair with a white shirt, a moto jacket, or a comfy sweater, finishing off the look with sneakers, Birkenstocks, or, on occasion, a pair of her own cult shoes, with which her new eponymous collection is well-stocked. Effortless is a word that’s much overused in this business, but it’s well applied to Philo, described by Vogue as “an oracle and Sphinx of fashion,” who dresses to suit herself rather than adapt to the whims of fashion.

Phio has kept a low profile since leaving Celine in 2017. In the most recent on-the-town photo of the designer she’s wearing black silk and leather, accessorized with a joyful smile.

With Stella McCartney, 1999. Photo:

October 2002. Photo: Shoot Digital

With Max Wigram at the Met Ball, May 2003. Photo: Getty

October 2003. Photo: Getty

March 2004. Photo: Getty

October 2004. Photo: Getty

With Hamish Bowles at the Met Gala, May 2005. Photo: Getty

October 2005. Photo: Getty

February 2006. Photo: Getty

June 2008. Photo:

October 2009. Photo:

December 2010. Photo: Getty

March 2011. Photo: Getty

June 2011. Photo: Rabbani and Solimene Photography

With Prince Charles, March 2014. Photo: Press Association via AP Images

June 2014. Photo: Getty

September 2014. Photo:

In Paris, spring 2015. Photo: Phil Oh

October 2015. Photo: Getty

June 2016. Photo: Getty

October 2016. Photo: Getty

Originally published in

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