Glamcore Is the New Normcore

Céline Pre-Fall 2015


I’ve been thinking a lot about the designers who truly matter — the ones who veritably change the way that we want to dress. There was Alexander Wang, who in 2007 created a new space between luxury and contemporary, commoditizing and then selling an entity that was previously never up for purchase: cool. His foray into leatherwear — as motorcycle jackets and pants — informed a moment that still runs deep through the veins of consumerism. The shape of contemporary fashion changed. No longer did flouncy floral mini dresses reign supreme. We became the cool kids, no matter how dorky we are — extolling the virtue of false edge because everyone knows that fake edge is better than no edge at all.

Recently, Rosie Assoulin has started to do something similar with her larger-than-life shapes that are becoming not the exception, but the rule, to dressing for the nuances of living. If normcore dominated the year 2014, glamcore is shaping the way we will discuss 2015. This is in large part due to designers like Assoulin, protégé to some of the fanciful greats like the late Oscar de la Renta and Alber Elbaz. Of course, designers have been experimenting with shapes that read delightfully extravagant for years, but only after Assoulin’s launch has this sense of exaggeration begun to feel approachable, manageable and ultimately achievable.

Smack between the Wangs and Assoulins of fashion, there is a camp heralded by Phoebe Philo. She has indubitably changed how we approach high fashion. When her contemporaries were still slapping bombastic logos onto everything, Philo sauntered into the house of Céline hoping to build a sustainable wardrobe for women, redefine power dressing and shift the perception of that which constitutes sexy.

Similarly to Assoulin, she makes clothes for women who aim to feel understood and live their lives. There’s a difference between the two, though, because where a Rosie Assoulin garment shouts, even if it doesn’t mean to, Céline has mastered the art of whispering. Her clothes are not wears-of-many-words, but when they speak, you listen. You can compare her to Marc Jacobs in that she gives us what we don’t yet know we want. In fact, she takes this a step further and provides what we think we definitely don’t want and then makes it lucrative.

Her most recent unveiling of Pre-Fall 2015 is a proof of this concept.

There are the classic silhouettes: the broad shoulders and wide-leg, slouchy pants. The bell sleeves and coats and culottes and mermaid skirts. Then there are the new shapes: the triad of skimpy, off-the-shoulder silk shirts worn under spaghetti strap dresses. The henley-style ankle length shirt dress. The fringe, first as a poncho, then as two floor-length dresses. These are the pieces that inform what comes next — what characterizes how we identify with our bodies, how we determine what we consider appealing and how we structure the events of our lives. We are consistently reminded, at the hand of Céline, that the power of fashion is nothing more, nothing less than a silhouette.

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  • Philo makes us feel understood in ways we didn’t think we needed to be understood. She gets us before we get us. Not preachy more just like: I’m in your head and saw your thoughts before you had time to process them.

    Does that make any sense?

    • Leandra Medine

      yeah duh! chiefly because i think i say it!

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  • For some reason I get a 40’s vibe from this collection. Loving the structured jackets and silhouettes of the dresses!

  • I love love looooveeee this.

  • Aydan

    Good god that fur coat is giving me full on Margot Tenenbaum vibes. WANT!

  • when i’m “thinking about clothes” in an analytical way, i usually end up finding their musical equivalent, and this collection to me is like the fashion equivalent of haim – it clearly references all the good stuff of the past yet puts it together in a way that feels absolutely now. or actually kind of ahead of now. it shows a wide breadth of ideas yet always feels like its name. and it’s always cool. and it makes you wanna dance.

    example: the loose dress-over-blouse styling of look 16 feels to me a bit 90s, whereas the length and skirt shape evoke the 30s, while the color palette nods to the 70s (notice i said “nods” rather than “beats to death” lol). it’s all there but together it feels new.

    as you said, i didn’t know i wanted any of this, and may even have thought i didn’t want it, but now i MUST have it.

    • Amelia Diamond

      i love that you find collection’s music equiv!

      • Being a rounded-out artist whose sound embodies their aesthetic and vice-versa, like Florence or Yuna, is basically my life goal. A girl can dream…

  • mado

    I’m obsessed with Phoebe’s take on the white ankle booties trend with the slits in them

    • Caroline D. Gomez Lassalle

      Oh lord, this picture almost stopped my heart. Is this what love at first sight feels like?

  • Lyric

    Picture number 5 totally reminds me of this post:

    That being said, I still want it badly.

  • Hannah Climas

    Showed my husband this slideshow while on the bus. Asked him what he thought – he looked vaguely intimidated and said that “she looks very long”. Don’t know what to make of that.

    I love her silhouettes, but she always seems to be designing for a persona that I’ll never be able to create for myself? Or at least, a persona that I don’t know if I’ll ever be comfortable wearing. Not sure if that makes sense. They look exquisite though.

  • Lua Jane

    I looked at the Luis Vuitton show coverage the other day, and couldn’t comment, because as respectful as I, a mere lay may be of Ghesquiere’s work I just wasn’t excited about what I saw. I didn’t feel thrilled to wear something like that or eventually find something similar (or almost equal as it will inevitably happen) in Zara few month from now. Yet Philo get’s women. She get’s me. Her woman is the one we want to be, without the look being unatainable or impossible to wear while living our everyday lives. It’s sleek, yet interesting. Functional but undeniably beautiful. Not pretentious, yet very feminine.
    And couldn’t agree more about Rosie Assoulin. One of the things I’m greatful to Man Repeller for is reading here about Rosies work before it was all that popular. Her woman is that amazingly cool and glamourous version of ourselves we imagine. She’s a true gem. In some weird way I think women designers might be very relevant, because they get us.

    • alex

      OMG THANK YOU! i dont know what it is about Ghesquiere at LV that does not excite me! I feel so meh about his collections and its so upsetting because i loved him at balenciaga!

      • Lua Jane

        It’s probably not as drastic as Galliano and Margiela colaboration, but it’s probably what we’re learned to expect from which brand. I liked him much better at Balenciaga too.

  • The second-last look made me cry, not joking.

    I’m going to sound really naive now, but that is ok: I have never understood the V-cut shoes. Am I missing something??

  • Whitney V

    I’ve always thought there’s nothing “cooler” than “effortlessly cool” -even if it’s not effortless, really. The way Phoebe had managed to make us want the simplest clothes but exactly because of that, because they’re truly wearable, comfortable, and ohhhh such great quality (let’s not forget the silhouettes, as you mention!), has undeniably changed the fashion scene -a Celine revolution, may I say! 😉


  • Julie Meowmeows

    Maybe it’s just the movie buff in me, but I’m imagining how stunning this collection would be on film.

  • Caroline D. Gomez Lassalle

    This is an incredible piece! Very beautifully crafted and truly inspired. It really accentuates the wearable art of the designer. Mad props.

  • pm.

    so much to love here.

    Anyone else on here seen Clouds of Sils Maria? It’s SO GOOD and I can’t stop thinking about it. Among a lot of other things, all three women’s characters offer some interesting takes on fashion and identity. Anyway, this Celine collection looks are all Juliette Binoche’d.


    • Krista Anna Lewis

      New favorite word RIGHT HERE.

  • I may be burned at the stake for this, but I feel like I’ve seen these silhouettes from Zara recently. Also saw Leandra on there. Bravo!

  • Paige

    Loving the spaghetti straps!

  • Phoebe Philo is a genius! Everything she comes out with is amazzzz!


  • I’d love to make the transition from skinny jeans to broader pants, specially after taking a look at the E. Tautz shop. What I don’t know is how my male bits will feel with all this extra space. Groint Agoraphobia could be my 2015 thing.

  • i would love to see an article on how to be a man repeller in a tropical country… well you know we cant use the excessive layering the rest of you can! and basic big clothing is just meh.

  • Marina Doshkevich

    I have news for you; Designers never shape anything. They just jump on a bandwagon, and hope it is the right one. I actually have some respect for the few who admit this, Like Karl Lagerfeld or Alber Elbaz, who are probably old enough that they don’t need to lie to themselves. NO; McQueen did not invent the low rise pants. No; Alexander Wang did NOT invent edgy dressing, neither did Rick Owens, but he certainly is the one that came first. People will start wearing big volume WHEN THEY DECIDE TO DO IT, all designers can do is keep putting it out there knowing that more and more people are going that direction for years, and eventually the tables turn. BTW, it has nothing to do with Normcore or Glamcore( isn’t that like porn, or something???) In fact Normcore is probably what started people to move away from the tight tight clothing in the first place.

  • Martine

    Not buying into it. Its just not fictional. Philo hits what i like once in a while, but not that often. Great fur coat…but then I have seen ones just like it, and just as sumptuous, in very regular fur stores, Even vintage stores. Its fun, but it sure isn’t new. Other then the fur, I do like the volume. Not rurally any of the pieces here, but the idea i like. If it catches on…it really hasn’t yet….not sure Normcore has gone anywhere, either….no matter how much the industry disses it. The name may have finally stopped being in use, but people still wear fairly simple, mid priced goods, and look good doing it. Kind of fun to see the fashion elite crying foul.