The temperature might’ve dropped here in the UK to finally resemble the frosty Novembers we’re used to, but Celine’s having none of it. Dreaming wistfully of warmer days, Hedi Slimane’s latest women’s collection transports us to the South of France in an ode to Ramatuelle in the gulf of Saint-Tropez, his recently claimed home.
Walking along the edge of concrete docks through the landscape of a glittering azure blue sea, Celine’s models emulate a casual-chicness we’ve come to naturally marry with the brand, with their hair floating loosely behind them in the breeze or tucked messily under baker-boy hats.
The runway itself isn’t the only aspect of this show inspired by the sun-kissed gulf of Saint-Tropez, as the entire lookbook is based partially on Hedi’s love and nostalgia for the French Riviera, where he’s resided for the past five years. Models appear to have strutted straight off the beach, with triangle-shaped crochet tops peeking from behind black leather jackets and tailored blazers thrown haphazardly over their swimwear.
One look that encapsulates this casual chicness so synonymous with Celine, features a black crochet swim top behind a beige-knit cardigan, low-rise khaki shorts, and chunky buckled biker boots, accessorised with a navy sailors hat, Conti bag, and swaying amber necklace. The soft feminine elements, such as bikini top and soft-knit cardigan, contrast well with Hedi’s more rock-inspired boots and hat, showcasing the variety of the collection.
The Celine woman – as is typical of the brand – channels a luxurious effortlessness, with her Conti Bag hanging delicately over her forearm and the sharp-edged tailoring of her leather jacket juxtaposing neatly with the classic-femininity of her ballet flats. Hedi’s versatility has been proven time and time again through his ability to create a spectrum of garments that both contrast and compliment one another, and this collection is far from an exception.
Hedi Slimane revived some of his most beloved and iconic trademarks in a self-proclaimed renaissance of his 2000s era. This is marked by the return of the Original Skinny Jean, a Hedi staple which dominated the British and American rock scenes upon its initial release between 2000-2007, and the relaunch of the Celine ‘Conti’ bag – a luxury leather saddle bag from Hedi’s London era.
We’ve seen the recent revival of Y2K aesthetics gain rapid popularity, but Hedi’s rendition is as usual a much more collected and considered take, pulling on London-based references rather than the typical US-inspired baby-tees and Juicy Couture. Although his collections released in the 2000s were worn and loved by members of the British and American rock scenes alike, these looks are characterised by elements of tailoring and indie sleaze we associate with London-culture.
A soon-to-be-released documentary featuring Hedi Slimane talking about his role in the indie sleaze movement back when it was just gaining traction will only corroborate how much Celine’s collection’s taken from the aesthetic. Called ‘Meet Me in the Bathroom’, the doc discusses the New York music scene in the early 2000s, in which Hedi reminisces his time photographing bands at the turn of the century.
Through the collection, Celine offers their customers everything they could desire, from mary-janes to biker boots and even a show-stopping mini dress which appears to be made entirely from sparkling gold sequins sewn onto a swinging sea of loose-knit threads.
It’s clear that Hedi’s set out on a mission to combat all our seasonal depression in one fell swoop. We’re only hoping that, maybe by looking at the visuals for long enough, we’ll be transported to Saint-Tropez too.
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