Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Style Profile: Insider's Look at Céline

The fashion world has been watching the rise of Phoebe Philo, Creative Director of Céline, as she has pioneered the luxury brand into the Mecca of minimalism in dress. Philo came to Céline after resigning from her role as the Creative Director of Chloé, and taking a two year hiatus from the fashion industry, to spend more time with her family.

I was viewing the Céline Spring 2011 show on Style.com when a familiar face flashed across the screen. Walking down the runway was the lovely Janice Alida, fiance of a friend of mine, who I recognized from Facebook.
Photography: Taylor James; Stylist: Mila Franovic; Makeup/hair: Negar Hooshmand

Photography: Jesse Craig; Stylist: Kah LI; Makeup/hair: Yasmin Morshedian

Janice is a novice in the world of modeling but has already appeared in several major collections. Not only did she walk Céline this season, but also Miu Miu and Maison Martin Margiela. Janice is a natural beauty and I soon found out that this beauty radiates from the inside out. She sweetly agreed to answer my questions about her experience working for Céline. It quickly became apparent that Janice is extremely humble, grounded and going to become a familiar face in the world of high fashion.

What would you say was the look that Céline was trying to achieve for their Spring 2011 show?

A. MINIMALISM. I know that word is probably overused by the fashion world, but Phoebe Philo took the cake for it this season. I'm new to the fashion industry, but from my observations, she had beautiful fabrics, cuts and shapes. Nothing was over embellished but extremely simple. This show defined the word minimalism for me. Another thing I think she was trying to achieve was a very wearable collection. All the pieces would be amazing by themselves: you don't need to buy every piece or entire looks to create an outfit. There's no pieces that are so extreme that it scares you away from the collection!
Janice Alida at Céline; Photography: The Sartorialist

What was the atmosphere like backstage?

A. Call-time was 8 A.M., so at first it was VERY quiet! People were moving slowly and just waking up, especially the models, as we basically roll out of bed, show up, and let the makeup artists and hair stylists take care of us (that's the best part of the job!). But an hour or so before show time, they start pumping music, feet start tapping, heads start bobbing, and people are getting excited. We rehearse a few times in our heels for the show to get things going, usually playing around and dancing down the runway. Half an hour or so before show time, when we're dressed, lined up and waiting for the minutes to tick before we walk, we're very giddy and anxious to do what we came here to do: show off a few hard months' worth of work by Phoebe and the Céline team!

From what you witnessed, how would you describe the work ethic of Phoebe Philo?

A. I didn't see much of her at the show or beforehand, but mostly as we were lined up ready for the show to start. She would come up and down the line to double-check each outfit, and then again as we were about to step out onto the runway. From that I could tell Phoebe is very detail-oriented, and she was beyond pleased and proud of this collection because she was smiling and laughing so much with the press after the show. I know she's an extremely hard worker because the collection was so beautiful!

How do the stylists decide which girl wears what in the show?

A. At my casting (which turned into a fitting on the spot), they tried on one outfit to how the clothes fit on me, and then they looked at the show board (which has all the composite cards of the girls they've booked, along with pictures of each of the looks prepared for the show), and they chose one of the looks they thought would look best on me. They were sold on it, loving the look and the colours on me. I had my fitting right away, where they tailored the look to me, and voila!

What words describe how Céline clothes feel to wear?

A. Relaxed, but structured, extremely simple, yet luxurious.

Did you have a favorite look from Céline this season?

A. I ADORE look # 20. Here's the link:
Freja Beha Erichsen was blessed to wear it, ha ha!! I like the shape and structure or the top with the relaxed pants. I really love the fabrics she used for the entire collection.

Do the more experienced models interact with the newer girls like yourself or is there a bit of a hierarchy?

A. The older girls are all friends already, and so fashion week is a bit of a reunion for them, so they tend to cling together to catch up and enjoy the time backstage together. It's like any group of friends. So I don't interact TOO much with them, but I haven't experienced anybody being harsh or cold towards me! They're all really nice.

How did it feel to be featured on The Sartorialist?

A. It was so exciting! I didn't know it until my friends told me and posted the link on my Facebook wall. I love following The Sartorialist as well as his girlfriend's blog, Garance Dore. Who doesn't love The Sartorialist?! I felt so lucky!

Any upcoming jobs you're looking forward to?

A. I CAN'T WAIT for next season of fashion week, the fall/winter 2011 one! This time was SUCH a whirlwind of excitement, that I barely had time to process everything. I'm excited to build on what I've accomplished from this past season. This is just the beginning!
Janice Alida at Céline; Photograpy: The Sartorialist

If you want to continue to get an insider's look at Janice's experience in the fashion industry check out her and her fiance, Andrew's blog.

Thanks Janice!

*Janice Alida is represented by Lizbell Agency in Vancouver and Ford Models Europe in Paris

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