Camille Over the Rainbow

Plaids pleaseThursday, March 7 2013

Fall-Winter 2013_Celine_Stella McCartney_plaid coats

(Ph/ left Stella McCartney and right Celine Autumn-Winter 2013 via

Plaid may not be boxfresh, but that is not to say that the series of boxy silhouettes in checkered motif imagined chez Stella McCartney and Celine for AW2013 had an air of déjà vu about them. On the contrary, these innovative takes on the traditional Scottish fabric commanded a refreshing alternative to the splashes of animal print that we have come to know of late. Looks like the leopard has finally changed its spots.

On the one hand (left), washed-out, tartan-inspired tailored coats borrowed from the boys. On the other (right), a playful nod to those two quid-a-pop nylon ‘refugee‘ bags*, from the rigid outline all the way down to the frayed hems. And what with the sudden resurgence of grunge (see: Saint Laurent’s Courtney Love aesthetic causes new wave ofParisianriots), and the roaring commercial success of Dries Van Noten‘s spring-summer plaids, not to mention Karl’s tartan extravaganza at the Métiers d’art Paris-Edimburgh show earlier this year, safe to say this is just the beginning.

Conclusion : coming soon to a Zara near you, a tidal wave of square stuff. I would deplore this but then again the gap between runway and real life is sometimes too, erm, real to bear. Man, I’m too impatient. Gimme, gimme!

*[Side note: given the‘slave style’ jewellery debacle that engulfedMango this week, I spent the better part of the evening trying to come up with an appropriate name for this (in)famous breed of woven-plastic shoppers. Google tells me that each culture has made it their own and quite frankly, given that each is more politically incorrect than the next – ‘Chinatown tote’ in NY, ‘Ghana-Must-Go’ in Nigeria, ‘Turkish suitcase’ in Germany, ‘Bangladeshi bag’ in England to name but a few – I think I’ll stick with ‘refugee’ if you don’t mind. Believe me, though, I am fully aware of the irony of contrasting a Poundland bag with garments bearing the logo of one of the most expensive high-end labels of our time. Still, at least inspiration feels more removed this time round than, say, the branded Louis Vuitton rendition circa 2007. Plus, let’s face it, Philo’s coats are pure art. Perhaps even a Warhol-esque play on consumerism and mass production? I very much hope so.]