Thursday, April 25

Phoebe Philo finally talks about her return to fashion

“I always tell my kids that the more stupid things you do, the more you discover,” she said, using a fruitier term than “mess.”

“Pretty quickly I realized that work was something I needed,” she said, “and I thought I had a feeling it was going to be in fashion,” even if she knew she didn’t want to go back to what she was doing. did. In most big houses, the work of designers ends at the show. They do not oversee advertising campaigns, merchandising, or store design. Ms. Philo wanted to intervene in all this. Even if independence and a start-up meant not traveling first class, nor having a driver or lots of orchids in the office.

“Basically, that’s not what makes me happy,” Ms. Philo said. Things that make her happy include baking, galleries, horseback riding, clubs, her family, her friends. She said she was “constantly walking a tightrope” between securing downtime and discovering inspiration. “Once she knows she can trust you, there are no more obstacles,” Ms. Rogers said.

After Mrs. Rogers’ husband, architect Richard Rogers, fell while traveling in Mexico and was hospitalized for months, Mrs. Philo came to breakfast one day, wearing a large wool coat. gray tweed she admired. “She just took it off and gave it to me,” Ms. Rogers said, before refusing to take it back. “It has kept me safe and warm ever since.”

Edward Enninful, the former editor of British Vogue, who has been friends with Ms Philo since they were children in west London, said he was constantly pestering her about when she would make men’s clothes. “I always thought I should buy one of his women’s coats and have it tailored,” he said.

Then, just before the Fashion Awards in London last year, she gave him a gray double-breasted suit, “just because she wanted me to feel good about myself”, he said. “I always wear black. I had never worn gray in my life, but I trusted it. It was very liberating.