Céline Inspired by Yves Klein 2017

Phoebe Philo took inspiration from the late French artist Yves Klein in one of her last collections for Céline. During her Spring 2017 show the British designer presented pieces that were unmistakably influenced by the forward-looking artist. The shade of blue she used along with the shapes on dresses gave her inspiration away.


A look from Céline’s Spring 2017 show depicting the figure all the way on the right of ANT 82 (L) Anthropometry of the Blue Period, ANT 82, 1960 By Yves Klein (R)

The blue was IKB or International Klein Blue. A saturated color that Klein was known for and which he patented in 1960.


Untitled Blue Monochrome (IKB 82), 1959 By Yves Klein (L) Yves Klein with IKB paint (R)

IKB was an extremely important part of Klein’s work and he used it to capture spiritual rather than physical things in his art. What he created was more abstract than figurative and he became a leader of the French artistic movement Nouveau Réalisme or new realism. This movement allowed art to have a new take on reality. Works became more open to interpretation and no longer needed to make perfect sense. They didn’t need to be portraits or picturesque scenery and art was no longer just made for the privileged.

Philo displayed this innovative style of art on two of her pieces, which depicted Klein’s Anthropometries series (one dress already pictured).


A look from Céline’s Spring 2017 show depicting the third figure from the left in ANT 82 (L) Anthropometry of the Blue Period, ANT 82, 1960 By Yves Klein (R)

To create the Anthropometries series Klein used nude women as live brushes. Yes you read that correctly. Sounds strange but it gets even more extravagant. Klein made the creation of this series into a show that was complete with a symphony he composed and IKB cocktails.


Photograph from the creation of Klein’s Anthropometries series, 1960

The symphony was titled The Monotone Symphony and was a single note played for twenty minutes followed by twenty minutes of silence. During the show Klein directed models, which were covered in paint, how to make imprints on paper. The performance and what it created was definitely a departure from art needing to make sense and showed Klein’s part in the Nouveau Réalisme movement. It was revitalizing and captivating.


Untitled Anthropometry (ANT 84), 1960 By Yves Klein

Philo didn’t say what captivated her about Klein’s work or why it inspired some of her designs. She didn’t give an explanation of the collection and let pops of IKB attest to its association with the pioneering artist.


Two looks from Céline’s Spring 2017 show

I guess Philo didn’t want to give a certain message and say what the collection should mean. You could assume she didn’t want her clothes to evoke something specific and that she wanted the pieces to be open to interpretation. Another take on Klein? Even back to her days studying at Central Saint Martins, Philo always let her designs speak for themselves but we’ll let you decide to what degree Klein inspired her.

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