Source Report: A1 by Phoebe Philo

In this special report, discover the unfiltered opinions of three industry experts on the return of Phoebe Philo.

November 2023

Last week, the world saw the long-awaited return of designer Phoebe Philo. The launch of A1 introduced a purposeful and opulent wardrobe for the modern individual, emphasising a drop model that focuses on limited production and sustainable practices. For SOURCE REPORT, follow along in this special series as we hear the unfiltered opinions of three experts as they discuss the return of Phoebe Philo and the A1 drop.

Part One: Tommy Ton

Street style today owes much of its essence to Tommy Ton. We spoke with the renowned photographer, whose 16-years of expertise have resulted in an extensive archive of distinctively documented street style imagery.Having captured some of Phoebe Philo’s most noteworthy pieces during her tenure at Céline, discover Tommy's perspective on the return.

Fig. 01  “A group of women gathered to honour Phoebe Philo” Tina and Yana shot by Tommy Ton, September 2018
 Fig. 02 “A group of women gathered to honour Phoebe Philo” 
Giorgia and Ramya shot by Tommy Ton, September 2018
On A1

"It was exactly what I expected: a continuation of her work at Céline – a wardrobe in progress. Phoebe has never been one to shock or swing from one pendulum to the next. She operates on instinct, and that is always reflected in what she presents – what feels right and modern.The most surprising aspect is the digital launch and her plan to release the collection in various drops. For someone who was anti-digital for so long, the debut collection being released in this fashion is very surprising. It's essentially the "see now, buy now" model that many brands have attempted."

On Sourcing

"I didn’t source anything. I can't afford anything. I simply live vicariously through friends and find a lot of joy in that."

Fig. 03 The zip wool trousers from the Phoebe Philo A1 collection, 2023
Fig. 04 Wool coat from the Phoebe Philo A1 Collection, 2023
On Finds past and present

"My collection consists of rubber boots from her final Spring Summer 2018 collection and the Pre-Fall 2018 collection."

A1 has left you feeling

"I am just happily content that her point of view and voice are back in fashion. It was sorely missed and much needed."

Fig. 05 Daria Werbowy for Phoebe Philo,  October 2023
Fig. 06 A pair of hand-combed embroidered trousers from the Phoebe Philo A1 collection, 2023

Part Two: Alex Eagle

360° curated retail experiences? Alex Eagle has consistently lead the way.In our second segment of SOURCE REPORT, we spoke with the visionary curator across the worlds of fashion, art and interior. With her extensive portfolio of companies including Alex Eagle Studios, The Store X, Alex Eagle Sporting Club, 180 Studios and Eagle & Hodges, Eagle has continuously advocated a less is more mindset through both physical and digital mediums.Having sourced some of Phoebe Philo’s earliest designs at Céline, we couldn’t miss her take on Philo’s new direction and how the old continues to influence the new.

Fig. 07 Alex Eagle, Founder and Creative Director of Alex Eagle Studio
Fig. 08 Silk asymmetric dress from the Phoebe Philo A1 collection, available soon
On A1

"I thought it was really great! It was reassuring to see such beautifully made classic pieces, with such consideration for British craftsmanship and fabrics. She confidently went for some really simple styles and silhouettes in a very luxurious way, for example the oversized leather tote and tailoring pieces.Of course, it was also great to see Phoebe’s sense of humour and eccentricity with fun, mad touches throughout the collection - for example in the MUM necklace, or the bonkers embroidered tailored trousers."

On Sourcing

"I did have my eye on the MUM necklace, but didn’t get there in time."

Fig. 09 MUM necklace in gold-plated sterling silver from the Phoebe Philo A1 collection, 2023
Fig. 10 Embroidered tailored trousers from the Phoebe Philo A1 collection, 2023
On Finds past and present

"I have some very worn, beaten up bags from her Céline days which I will never part with. I also have a crystal choker necklace which was worn by Daria Werbowy in the SS13 campaign and a Céline SS11 silk blouse with a graphic print, both of which I adore!"

A1 has left you feeling

"As Phoebe always previously set the tone for the industry and the mood for luxury consumption, I feel really positive about her collection as it speaks to my own personal belief in making production as low impact as possible and producing timeless, quality pieces, with a masculine edge and focus on very special fabrics. It is everything I strive for in my studio."

Fig. 11 Daria Werbowy for Céline Spring Summer 2013 Campaign by Juergen Teller
Fig. 12 Cargo jacket and trousers from the Phoebe Philo A1 Collection, 2023

Part Three: Martina Lohoff

As one of the first Céline sourcing experts, Martina Lohoff needs no introduction. For our final part of the SOURCE REPORT, we spoke with Martina, who is one of the very first Sourcewhere Partners and founder of community favourite, The Archive Dot Com. Martina has sourced 2,000 (and counting) ultra rare Céline items for clients worldwide, with the demand for all things Phoebe Philo only growing.

From the items she sourced to the parallels between the two brands, discover Martina's take on the collection.

Fig. 13 Sourced by Martina, the Yves Klein dress from the Spring Summer 2017 collection
Fig. 14 Bomber jacket featuring a detachable leather scarf from the Phoebe Philo A1 collection
On A1

"I love that she named the collection "edit" A1, emphasizing timelessness and seasonless designs. I enjoyed seeing Daria Werbowy in her campaign - women without makeup, showcasing their natural beauty.The pictures reveal mere glimpses of shoes or parts of the body, highlighting edge details. Fashion pieces designed for women of every age, adorned with the red serif font "Phoebe Philo"... It evokes a sense of nostalgia from her Old Céline days, reinterpreted anew in her own brand, and creating fashion for the woman we aspire to be."

On Sourcing

"I immediately fell in love with the chunky MUM necklace. It stands out as a powerful piece in her collection. It's a continuation of what I mentioned earlier - I never knew I needed a MUM necklace, but somehow, Phoebe knew before I did."

Fig. 15 Daria Werbowy for Phoebe Philo, October 2023
Fig. 16 Sourced by Martina, the MUM gold-plated sterling silver necklace from the Phoebe Philo A1 collection, 2023
On Finds past and present

"The exquisite jewellery pieces from her FW15 collection for Céline, such as the delicate deer necklace and fox earrings, along with my map print coat from FW17."

A1 has left you feeling

"During the Old Céline days, it felt like Phoebe Philo understood what we wanted to wear long before we did. It seems to be the same with her new collection. Her talent for surprising optical effects and textures, her minimalism, her effortless yet sometimes unexpected designs remain consistent."

Fig. 17 Badge gold-plated sterling silver ring from the Phoebe Philo A1 collection, 2023
Fig. 18 Bombé sunglasses from the  Phoebe Philo A1 collection, 2023