Forward Thinking

  1. Boss Women: above, Joan Didion photographed at a gathering in San Francisco, by Ted Streshinsky in 1967; and below, Phoebe Philo's first exit for Céline's autumn/winter '17, the model Elien Swalens wearing a relaxed trench and silk scarf.


  1. MORE on the subject of women writers this week, and it's interesting to note that Phoebe Philo, arguably one of fashion's most influential names, still seems hooked on essayist Joan Didion and the whole idea of intellectual, austere fashion – and who better to continue inspiring her ideals? (Didion was the face of Céline's campaign in 2015). This week, the creative director conjured powerful-looking women on her winter runway with a considered collection that was structured yet fluid, for women on the move. Elegant ease has become Philo's signature, and it's one that is perfectly matched with Didion's own heartfelt viewpoint on what it means to be a woman. Of the show, Sarah Mower,'s chief critic wrote: "The collection had the air of a go-to-work uniform; a wardrobe in which to be prepared to tough out the situation. The alleviating quirk of the season were the giant, fuzzy stoles slung over some of the models’s arms: comfort blankets for the corporate army of Céline women on the long, hard road that may lie ahead?"

  1. Get Smart: above, the opening look from Céline's autumn/winter '17.

With International Women's Day and writers in mind, it's the perfect week to take up one of the brilliant novels below, all written by exceptional female authors who have the ability to influence through their words and complex ideas. This is, of course, only a small reading list, and no doubt you have your own recommendations, which I would love to know. Please email them through to, and we will compile a Moda 100 to be published soon: 

  3.  Slouching towards Bethlehem  Joan Didion
  4. Personal History  Katharine Graham
  5. White Teeth  Zadie Smith
  6. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings  Maya Angelou 
  7. The GoldFinch  Donna Tartt
  8. Breath, Eyes, Memory  Edwidge Danticat
  9. The Golden Notebook  Doris Lessing
  10.  The House Of The Spirits  Isabel Allende
  11. Possession  A. S. Byatt
  12. Americanah  Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  13. To Kill A Mockingbird  Harper Lee
  14. Out Of Africa  Karen Blixen
  15. On Photography  Susan Sontag
  16. Bonjour Tristesse  Françoise Sagan
  17. Orlando  Virginia Woolf
  18. The Valley Of Amazement  Amy Tan