Are You Following "Old Celine" On Instagram Yet?

BY Anum Bashir

Earlier this year when news broke of Phoebe Philo leaving Céline, the hearts of millions of “Philophiles” sank into a deep heavy pit in our stomachs. We were collectively in shock and confusion; instantly wanting to know who would take over, and prayed that the aesthetic that she had so cleverly woven over the past decade would continue under someone else’s reign. At the helm of the maison for so long, Phoebe created so much more than just clothes - she created a language, a way of thinking, and gave to women that quiet confidence via structured, exaggerated, minimal silhouettes they had always been looking for. The clothes, though so simple, packed a huge punch, and were deemed iconic and a statement through and through. At Céline Phoebe became an institution in her own right. But now with Hedi Slimane making his controversial debut this past Fashion Week in Paris, those broken hearts continue to break further; with many of us running to our local Céline boutiques to purchase the last of what remains of the old Céline we loved. But Phoebe’s legacy lives on via one particular social media account that has taken the industry and fans by storm – if you’re not following “Old Céline”, I suggest you get to it. Curious to know who was behind this genius account, I waisted no time in reaching out, and getting acquainted with Gabrielle Boucinha - the 22 year old behind it who's been serving us all kinds of nostalgia via her curated Instagram grid; fully exhibiting the hay day of Philo’s Céline, and reminding me that I didn’t buy enough when I had the chance. But is Old Céline going to help us revisit previous collections? Can we curb FOMO and be granted access to buy once again? Let’s find out!

AB: Tell us a little bit about yourself? Born? Raised? From?

GB: My name is Gabrielle Boucinha and I currently live in Toronto. I was born and raised just outside of the city where I've lived most of my life. I have just graduated this Spring with a Bachelor of Design in Fashion Communication from Ryerson University. I have always been interested in fashion editorial (career wise), but in a broader sense, how we can use the massive platform fashion holds to create a positive change towards real world issues. Of course, Phoebe Philo's Céline was a huge inspiration of mine. I can think of no one more progressive, powerful and unique. 

AB: What made you love Céline under Philo so much? / Why did you launch "Old Céline" on Instagram?

GB: Phoebe Philo’s decade at Céline has been one of my biggest creative inspirations. It was truly unique and progressive. I think that is what made it so impactful and that is why Phoebe has such a loyal following. 

When you do something truly unique, in whatever field you are in, it really allows people to think. Which I think is what Phoebe did at Céline, and not just for those in her field. Phoebe Philo’s work crossed into other areas, politics, design, art, and the news. She reinvented everything and created an iconic house based on the ethos of the modern woman. Strong. Powerful. Confident. Beautiful. 

Simply, I created this account so that we could all remember the magic Phoebe gave us. I’ve gotten a lot of messages from women thanking me for this account because it reminds them of specific really happy times in their lives or of how powerful and confident they felt wearing Phoebe’s designs. I think this displays the power that clothing can have, beyond being just clothing. The fact that I can provide a platform that supports that notion is so special to me. 

Phoebe Philo turned Céline into an entire lifestyle. Applying “less is more” to every way of living. 

I think Phoebe’s Céline represents the power of feeling confident. Of following your vision, whatever it may be, and in whatever industry you happen to hold a career in. This directly mirrors the power of fashion. So many people use fashion as a way to escape. By dressing ourselves in a way that makes us feel confident, we forget all our problems, even if its temporary. In today’s world, with the many crises that we’re all experiencing worldwide in politics and society, I hope this is somewhat of a reminder that we can and must keep following our visions.  

AB: Do you actually wear a lot of Céline?

GB: I definitely wouldn’t say a lot, but I have a few pieces that I absolutely love and wear regularly. 

AB: When did you realize you loved the brand?

GB: Phoebe’s Céline has always been one of my favorite brands to date. Probably because it represented so much more than just clothing. It represented an entire lifestyle that promoted female empowerment. The Céline woman dressed for herself, which I think was a very important and a rather politically driven statement for a major fashion house to make. 

AB: Where are you hoping to take your account/ social media presence / Whats next? 

GB: I am almost done creating my new website where I will launch the merchandise collection I’ve been working on. Very much looking forward to that. 

I love editorial design, branding, and writing so I would love to publish a large coffee table book about Phoebe Philo’s Céline. It would include all of the shows, campaigns, interviews, and all notable content from 2008-2018. Fashion publishing and print have always been a huge passion of mine - I think its offers a completely different and a more memorable experience than reading digital content. 

AB: Will people be able to buy Old Céline under you? Wouldn't that be great?

GB: Yes! I was thinking to make an extension of the website an e-boutique of curated old Céline.

AB: That would be incredible. Count me in as a customer! 

AB: Some fun facts about you no one knows?

GB: The only TV I watch are documentaries. That and Sex and The City on repeat. 

I could (and often do) eat pasta every day of the week. 

I just turned 22! Most people think I am older!

My favorite music genres are rap and classical. 

I have a Corgi named Leo.

AB: How have you felt about the press/ social media's response to your account?

GB: I feel so humbled and thankful! You always hear people saying “I never thought this would happen” but I truly never thought this would happen! I started the account on September 3rd so it all happened really fast. I followed all of my favorite fashion figures for years, and now am so humbled to see many of them are following me back! It was so exciting to see some of my favorites like Camille and Leandra tagging their photos with "Old Céline". I think a lot of the growth had to do with quality over quantity in the beginning. When I had around 2,000 followers, a lot of notable people in fashion were already following - which I think is what influenced a lot of the growth.

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