Gabrielle Boucinha is the creator of @oldceline, an Instagram dedicated to highlighting the Phoebe Philo tenure at Céline. This past year, controversy swirled in the fashion industry upon the debut of Hedi Slimane's premiere collection for the house, as well as the stripping of the accent aigu in the house's name.
In many ways, Phoebe Philo built an idea of sleek, feminine dressing that became synonymous to the brand. With her departure—and the stark contrast of the work of her predecessor—many devout Céline fans can only look back with nostalgia of what once was. With 134k followers and counting, @oldceline is a testament to the significance and impact of Philo's reign. VSP stopped to chat with Boucinha about what exactly set the Philo era apart, and who the Céline woman was.
What season was your personal favourite?
This is such a hard decision to make but if I had to choose one, it’d be: Fall 2017 RTW close second would be: Fall 2016 RTW
Who is the quintessential Céline woman?
Simply, I’d say any woman with work to do and a life to live. Phoebe’s Céline appealed to women in all industries which was what made it so unique in the sense that it wasn’t only about the fashion. It became a lifestyle involved in embracing natural beauty and female empowerment. I can think of no fashion house more powerful, progressive and unique. Old Céline never begged for attention. It promoted natural beauty, effortless style and quiet confidence. When you do something truly unique, in whatever field you are in, it really allows people to think - which I believe is what Phoebe did at Céline, and not just for those in her field. Phoebe Philo’s work crossed into other areas, politics, design, art, and the news. Phoebe’s Céline really proves that to truly make an impact, you don't need to try so hard.
How will the Phoebe Philo era be remembered?
The Phoebe Philo era will be remembered for the iconic campaigns and truly timeless designs. The old Céline woman was strong, powerful and beautiful without trying - which is what made old Céline so impactful. This was a powerful statement for a leading fashion house to make. To say “less is more instead of “you need this and this and this”.
What Philo piece and from which collection do you covet the most?
“The Made in Tote” in black from the last season. If I could have any Old Céline bag it’d be this one.
Who do you think is the ideal person to take over at the helm?
In a perfect world, MKA [Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen]. The Olsen’s love old Céline, they have mentioned their admiration in interviews and they are always spotted wearing the sunglasses, bags and coats. The Row also shares the same aesthetics that Céline did. They are sophisticated and simple, yet very luxurious. The most important factor that The Row and Old Céline share is that they were designed for the modern woman as a reflection of what woman actually want to wear—transcending the male gaze.
What does the future hold for @oldcéline?
Through continued curation of a digital platform, I hope to create a brand that celebrates Old Céline and everything that it stood for in terms of design, art and fashion.
Gabrielle wears Céline.