Celine SPRING 2021 READY-TO-WEAR
Since the summer of 2020, when he showed his Dancing Boy men’s collection—an ode to e-boys—on a Formula One track in the South of France, Hedi Slimane has switched his approach to documentary mode. The second half of what he called (in an email) a “portrait of a generation”—this one for girls—was also filmed in a sports venue, the Stade Louis II in Monaco. “With this collection Hedi wants to show, through the youth [and] optimism, the hope [in] this uncertain time.”
Styling and restyling the bourgeois codes of what Celine used to stand for is how he started at this house. Now, interrupting them with how they might be rehandled by French Gen Z on the street—or at home—is the name of his game.
She’s “always the Parisian but with a new energy—she listens to rap/hip-hop music”—like the track by Princess Nokia, which looped hypnotically as the models strode the circuit, their Celine-logo baseball caps and bucket hats pulled down, hands thrust in the pockets of their jeans, shorts, and ’80s style blousons.
The timeless bits of luxury fashion—like the tailored blazer, the glamorous sequined dress, and the ladylike Sulky bag—are still centrally represented: Slimane isn’t about to give up on plying that wardrobe. The difference is his sharp-eyed assessment of the way that the granddaughters of Celine’s earlier customers will likely give the posh stuff a complete dressing down. Gone are the old tropes of proper, high-heel polish. This generation will only wear flats—anything from sneakers to fluffy bedroom slides to hiking boots and Wellington boots—put crop tops under blazers, throw on nylon jackets over loose-fitting sparkly dresses and track pants under jackets.
It’s a rewritten language of style that Slimane aims to be read by youth globally. The parting shot of the film soared up through the roof of the Monegasque stadium, switched to a darkened sky, and culminated with a view of the earth seen from space. What did it signify? That our planet is beautiful and we’re still lucky to be alive on it—maybe something like that. For the anxious times that all kids are living through, that seemed to be Slimane’s small gesture of hope.