Just in case the Celine collection had not sent out a clear message, Creative Director Hedi Slimane’s third collection spelt it out: “Celine Art Project” read every page of the otherwise empty book handed out to the audience. (In 2018, Hedi insisted on removing the accent on the first “e”.)
There was a line-up of cool kids walking the wide runway to the repetitive beat of the Los Angeles girl trio, Automatic, singing ‘Calling It’.
https://www.instagram.com/p/B27SiUSnjwW/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=dlfixThe Celine young woman had changed her school from Saint Laurent (Slimane’s former post), but not her uniform.
The casual clothes on the sexy side, with shapely tailored navy jackets, put a focus on body-conscious jeans. The models burst out of what looked like a burning entrance (was the school on fire?) and walked purposefully down the long runway.
The other look was a lightweight, very vaguely-hippy dress ending at mid-calf – all the better to show knee-high suede boots.
With stubborn determination, Hedi continued to offer variations on limited basics, changing sleek into furry tops but still focusing on denim.
Who is his woman? She is Mademoiselle Gen Z, the post-Millennial, turning 20 in 2020.
Or rather, she dressed like her birth date was in the 1970s and her wardrobe was filled with the cinched-in jackets and mid-length skirts from a fashion period where the style was recognisably French, even “Parisienne”. (It was also a look introduced by Yves Saint Laurent, where Hedi is famous for turning YSL elegance into a backstreet Los Angeles look.)
That was another story. But not entirely, for the LVMH-owned Celine is hoping to build the company into a major brand. The elements are already there, from scarves – twisted around the head, not neck – to wide-brimmed straw hats.
Hedi’s skill is taking these objects, fashionable in another era, and deploying them to re-boot Celine.