Oh, Hedi!

What’s your point?

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Is Celine Men designed for Hedi Slimane himself? If so, that shouldn’t surprise anyone. Our comments here then risk being redundant, but bear with us.

Recently, we looked, again, at Hedi Slimane’s last show for Yves Saint Laurent Homme (titled Black Tie), his first and last show at Dior Homme, and his first and last show at Saint Laurent and we came to the conclusion that having reshaped the silhouette of men’s wear as early as 2000 (that Black Tie collection at YSL was prelude to everything he did at Dior Homme later and further down the road), Mr Slimane probably has no desire to change what he was responsible for: that certain leanness and rock ‘n’ roll edge. That skinny jeans (even skinny track pants!!!) still dominate the male wardrobe is testament to his aesthetical influence.

Unsurprisingly, his first stand-alone Celine presentation for men could have been a Dior Homme show or Saint Laurent. The models walk similarly, if not look similar. The Celine collection is, we were told, called “Polaroids of British Youths”, but, to us, it really is Pete Doherty all over again. Or, even Liam Gallagher (sorry, chap!). Mr Slimane’s brand of indie-rock cool has always veered towards England, never mind if he himself lives in Los Angeles, and is known to be into the music scene there. The English just does it better.

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Hedi Slimane is not Hedi Slimane if he does not do slim—boyish to boot. To be fair, for Celine Men, the skinniness is not so extreme. The boys are still lean, maybe not quite skin-and-bones as before, but they are primarily boys, unlike the models at Junya Watnabe, who cast grown men, middle-aged and above, for his Silver Swagger collection. Mr Slimane has his signature down pat: the silhouette is compact (nothing oversized) and the line straight. As with his women’s wear, he is not partial to ample space between body and cloth.

On a whole, the clothes look rather basic despite their rock musician posturing. One duffel coat is so unspectacular that you are sure that if you wish to ape the look, a very similar version available at Uniqlo can be had for a song, pun intended. You sense, too, that you may have seen some of the items elsewhere. A couple of the leather jackets look like they have appeared at Saint Laurent during Mr Slimane’s tenure there, while others such as the trim blazers with narrow lapels, now already commonplace in TopMan.

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An unapologetic designer, Mr Slimane is not about to explain why he took the path he has with Celine Men. He dishes it, and fans will lap them all up. Some members of the media say he is firmly helping men to return to an elegant way of dressing; they point to the collection’s missing sneakers. We’re not sure that many guys will abandon their T-shirts and their joggers at Mr Slimane’s catwalk command. This does not sing of his Dior Homme moment. Additionally, other brands, too, are signalling the shift away from streetwear. What then will be his Celine’s allure?

It is hard to say. These days, fashion also includes the power of social media not just the dictates of the runway. Or, one trending shirt (yes, Jeff Goldblum’s!) We can’t be certain that those who educate themselves about fashion via the Net won’t say this is an uninspired variation of a theme. It’s been seen and if we didn’t do them then, we’re not going to do them now. Or next fall.

Photos: (top) Youtube/(runway) indigital.tv

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