Hedi Slimane’s CELINE is all about consistency. It’s a masterclass in androgyny; a statement in how to dress; a love letter to all things that make fashion worth being invested in. Cornerstones like these are imperative to the CELINE narrative, a brand that never fails to deliver collections that speak to its customer, while continuously elevating the House’s aesthetic – and in turn, yours. If you weren’t a CELINE lover before, you will be after witnessing the CELINE Women Summer 2024 collection and video, “LA COLLECTION DE LA BIBLIOTHÈQUE NATIONALE,” subtitled “TOMBOY.”
The video is set in the grounds and spaces of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France (BNF), which is one of the oldest cultural French institutions. Much like the BNF, CELINE is too a cultural French institution – setting a tone for how to dress. Thus, a collection video here makes perfect sense, studying both the informed influences behind the collection and portraying a study on Slimane’s self-referential, nostalgia-driven catalogue of work.
As an extended version of “Too Much Love” by LCD Soundsystem plays in the background (as is expected with any Hedi Slimane-directed project, given his love for indie electronica and club life), models fill the BNF’s historical rooms. And not just any models, but ones that include the British-American actress Esther McGregor (daughter of Ewan McGregor) and the British musician Stella Rose (daughter of Dave Gahan, lead singer of Depeche Mode). The question’s still out on whether they were listening to the track on their collaborative CELINE Special Project Master & Dynamics headphones, coming in black, tan, or black/silver, each bearing iconic CELINE branding.
Here, Slimane’s vision for CELINE comes to life – it’s fresh while capable of maintaining familiarity, and this is often the case for CELINE’s all-encompassing Creative, Artistic and Image Director.
The opening look and closing look bookend a collection that spans multiple genres and elements of the CELINE brand, but notably, both these core looks explore Slimane’s love for androgyny, tailoring, and “TOMBOY” aesthetics. This comprises an opening tailored ensemble, pairing a delicately pinstriped suit with a crisp white shirt and a ‘90s business tie. At the end, a perfectly-cut tuxedo closes the collection – here, the emphasis is put on precision and contemporary formalities, updating an antiquated tailored must-have with cropped cigarette-skinny trousers accented with a slight boot flair, and a jacket buttoned singularly, also fitting snug on the body.
But between these two looks is a CELINE collection that covers all bases. Your first full number is a leopard print two-piece, centred around a cropped jacket and a mini skirt. The indie sleaze of this co-ord is softened with a quaint, frilly white blousson underneath, which is also cropped, while cool-girl motifs infuse the look thanks to stompingly-big red boots and a pair of Y2K-inspired sunglasses.
The contrast of soft and hard influences is found again and again. CELINE’s girl borrows her rockstar boyfriend’s grey pinstriped blazer and hangs it nonchalantly over a silk lingerie slip dress, serving off-duty supermodel chic. Her sunglasses are big enough to hide behind, the boots are up to her thighs, and her bag keeps all of last night’s secrets safe as it tucks under her arm.
In serving these themes, CELINE – and Hedi Slimane – create a character. The black tweed jacket that’s been passed down from her mum is styled with a stellar pair of denim jeans and a ‘90s pop girl-esque “CELINE PARIS” slogan baby tee. The aforementioned tuxedo jacket is transformed, finding a new life when worn atop a glistening embellished black fishnet mini dress. An angsty 2000s girl pairs a varsity zip-up hoodie with a utterly beautiful (and showstopping) silver dress crafted from pleated embellished fabric. It cuts the body into shape, contrasting the slouchy irreverence of the hoodie, and still manages to look effortlessly cool thanks to the addition of a CELINE Triomphe leather choker.
There is, of course, plenty of leather. It’s there as a track suit, a bomber jacket, and a biker. Worn zipped-up with a beanie and some jeans, or over a cocktail dress, Slimane proves the versatility of CELINE’s leather outerwear and, in doing so, his brand.
“TOMBOY” is the kind of moment that would make you throw out your wardrobe in order to wear only this for the rest of your life. It asks: “What more do you need?” Point proven by the metallic gold cocktail dress, a floating leopard print stunner, to-die-for denim, and new Victoire handbags that echo many of the ‘90s and noughties undertones found throughout the Women’s Summer 2024 presentation.
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