As well as crafting some of the most beautiful clothes on the planet, designer Hedi Slimane is something of a wordsmith. “I like the ritual, the liturgy of a well-crafted, emotional fashion show,” he once said. “I will never be jaded with this side of fashion. The catwalk is pure anthropology, something like an esoteric encrypted parade. It can totally be replaced but it will be missed.” It was a quote one couldn’t help but think about while watching the designer’s latest outing for Celine, a digital-only fall winter 2022 collection aired via livestream yesterday afternoon.
The show was staged at two quintessentially Parisian (and fittingly opulent) locations—the Hôtel National des Invalides and the newly-restored “Salons D’Apparat” of the Hôtel de la Marine—with the two runway presentations spliced together for the final film. Models included Slimane muse Kaia Gerber and long-time brand ambassador Lalisa Manobal, the Thai rapper known better by her mononym ‘Lisa’. Presented almost two months after the fall winter 2022 collections wrapped in Paris, everything about the presentation was a testament to Slimane’s singularity and anti-establishment approach to fashion.
The collection was chocked-full of tropes from the Slimane-for-Celine archive. Boyish baggy jeans were worn with sleek black turtlenecks and towering leather heeled boots; glittering sequin gowns were dressed down with slouchy mens-style tailoring; cropped tweed blazers were paired with prim top handle handbags and offset with chunky gold jewellery. Models wore dark sunglasses with almost every look, as well as the signature Hedi Slimane ‘woke up like this’ hair and makeup look.
There were unexpected contrasts and dichotomies, too. Utilitarian aspects like windbreakers, leather overalls, and rubber lug-soled boots contrasted with embellished mid-length skirts, oversized angora sweaters, and flirty cocktail dresses. A nod to the so-called ‘Y2K resurgence’ came courtesy of low-slung leather skirts worn with ab-baring chiffon blouses. And Slimane’s signature Celine handbag shapes were reimagined in sleek mini rectangular silhouettes, worn on the shoulder with short chain straps (Carrie Bradshaw, eat your heart out).
Slimane specialises in a particular brand of French style that always feels fresh—so it’s only fitting he took over timeless Parisian locations to show his latest outing. Vive la France indeed.