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Simple lines, easy shapes, neutral colors – at first take minimalism doesn’t exactly sound like the most exciting movement in fashion. However, in the hands of Phoebe Philo, new minimalism has exploded into a look and lifestyle that’s hard to ignore. Fresh off receiving the 2010 title of British Designer of the Year, I thought it appropriate to take a look at Philo’s work for the house of Celine that has spawned a worldwide club of dedicated followers (otherwise known as the Philophiles) and how you can achieve that sleek look with BurdaStyle patterns and projects.

For her Fall 2010 collection, Philo focused on no frills luxury with a palette of neutral colors including navy, black and white. Simple staples like straight, cropped pants, a sleek pencil skirt and a simple waistcoat are timeless, transitional pieces that will slip easily into any wardrobe.

Patterns: Cropped Trousers and Double Breasted Waistcoat.

Patterns: Tie-Front Blouse, Pencil Skirt, and Caftan-Style Maxi Dress.

Touches of leather and lace add texture to the simple but classic shapes, making for an overall cool and decidedly modern look.


For the Spring season Philo again stuck with the basic shapes, incorporating wide-leg pants and tunic tops into many of her ensembles, but this time she played with a few pops of color and graphic patterns adding a sort of bohemian slant to the otherwise sparseness of her aesthetic.

Pattern: Tunic Top.

Pattern: Wide Leg Trousers.


Although many a minimalist designer came before Philo, she has done much to reinvigorate the concept for a new generation of fashion lovers and provided a sleek update to classic and simple design.

What do you think about the revival of minimalism? Are you more restrained or excessive in your fashion and sewing project choices?


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    Feb 19, 2011, 08.05 PMby mamoose

    Great. Minimalist lasts. Minimalist is classic. Minimalist is me. Spots of colour. Yeah.


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    Dec 29, 2010, 09.16 AMby fosteretalk

    Minimalism and classic are my preference. It seems to suit my personality and budget. The fashions last longer.

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    Dec 29, 2010, 06.52 AMby bellab

    I love most of these – it is a real art to get minimalism to look great. My style contains a lot of minimalism, however I pair it with my own jewellery which does stand out so I have fun getting dressed.

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    Dec 28, 2010, 10.15 PMby disy

    love it all!

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    Dec 28, 2010, 08.35 PMby cur-jargon

    minimalism is so classic because of it’s simplistic lines and construction. I love complicating this look with accessories. great article! Thanks.

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      Dec 28, 2010, 09.40 PMby themisslinds

      agreed – i love the balance between clean, simple lines and bold jewelry or accessories. to me it’s the perfect combination.

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    Dec 28, 2010, 08.09 PMby piecesofanarnia

    I don’t know I LOVE the Celine label but life is really too short to go totally minimalist! So pieces yeah but Glam is wear I am!

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    Dec 27, 2010, 02.31 PMby max

    Love the pops of color and the button up vest!

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    Dec 26, 2010, 11.02 PMby tasallison

    whoa some of them look like hospital scrubs..

    i do like the vest though, very sleek

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    Dec 25, 2010, 11.00 AMby naonao

    I am fond of some of the looks, but the one in the ‘tunic’ row on the left – all dressed in blue – and the one right below it look just like what I wear at work in the hospital… I never knew my working clothes were so fashion forward :)

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    Dec 25, 2010, 04.00 AMby notdeadredhead

    I can’t say I’m overly fond of everything in here, but I do think it pushes the envelope in a very good way. It gets gears turning, and it reminds people that they don’t have to sacrifice comfort to be fashionable/look good. Tunics = awesome

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    Dec 24, 2010, 05.24 PMby magdamagda

    everyone should/does/can’t resist to try minimalism at some point! the sooner the better but also the later the better… ok, what I mean is that all roads lead to minimalism sooner or later, in fashion, just like in other areas of our lives… after bolness, excessive expression, impulsive dynamism we look for peace, uniformity, conformity, yes, that something “less is more” thing… maybe just to scream from the top of our lungs again once we feel we’re done with minimalism…

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    Dec 24, 2010, 04.12 PMby sewlikeabee6

    wow Vally of the Dolls It was a powerfull movie and long like 3 hrs long. I like Lots of lace love the color #1. Tunics just the dressie look flare#3. Wide comfortable wide pants also like the color looks refreshing color#2 & 3 colors. Bold Prints # 1& 2. Not much for the shiny look at least in clothes. Thanks for the runway.
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    Dec 24, 2010, 01.37 PMby tinybows

    these styles are very powerful! i love the white pants and top with the little strips of color running down the sides. makes me think of a breezy early 1970s ensemble reminiscent of Valley of the Dolls. very cool.

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    Dec 24, 2010, 12.36 PMby momob

    Exactly right! Minimal fuss for comfort, and the styles doesn’t detract from YOU! Clothing should enhance, not be the main attraction. Love the tunics, not the lace.

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    Dec 24, 2010, 11.32 AMby ruthw

    Yes, they are great designs, but they rely on high quality fabrics, good fitting and high production standards to look good because there is no embellishment to distract the eye from wonky seams or sagging shoulders! Good to see the Burda patterns that can be used to reproduce this look.

    1 Reply
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      Jan 4, 2011, 06.59 AMby mssewandsew

      Yes totally agree! Attention to detail makes all the difference – all the time. I personally love hand finished hems where possible.

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    Dec 24, 2010, 11.03 AMby carottesauvage

    Everyone knows: less is more. Overall, I would call those creations ‘classic’ and they are the best bets for a atemporal wardrobe.

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    Dec 24, 2010, 10.31 AMby mitmit

    I adore minimalism in fashion! I fact I think most of what I wear on a daily basis can be put under that category. As much as I love making vintage-like clothes I must admit I almost always end up in basic trousers and a shirt or a pencil skirt and a blouse myself. One of my new years resolutions is to start wearing things with a little more detail.

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    Dec 23, 2010, 11.48 PMby poqal

    Wow, I love these ideas. Thanks so much

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