Hedi Slimane is not a designer troubled by thoughts of repetition. He knows what he likes— skinny legged rockers— and he’s built a career on it. Two years into his tenure at Celine, he shows no sign of breaking the habit of a lifetime. But we’re not mad about it.
As guests entered Celine’s FW/20 Place Vauban Invalides venue, they walked into an atmosphere that was classic Slimane. Despite this being the brand’s women’s ready-to-wear show, this 110-look FW/20 collection had no shortage of men’s pieces. As well you might expect from arguably one of the most influential menswear designers of the last twenty years.
Slimane was here to reiterate that the ‘70s are still ‘in’, with the kick-flared leather pants, shearling coats, parkas, pointy boots and tailored British punk influences that are the hallmarks of the era.
The son of a Tunisian father and Italian mother, Slimane’s body of work is creating a niche, Bourgeoise style, rooted in the ‘70s, for the French house. Now fifty-one, he is creating a quintessentially French style inspired by his early upbringing. We see him constantly revisiting the ‘70s and ‘80s, finding new inspiration and ways of interpreting the rockers and poets, artists and street kids that have shaped his life’s work.
In practice for Celine this meant dark aviator sunglasses, satin ruffled shirts and a healthy dose of glam rock with shawl-collar tuxedo jackets, velvet sports coats, platform boots and Cuban heels.
Slimane is a master of tailored glam excess and his suiting is a reflection of exactly that. Updated to make it relevant now, the wide-lapelled suits and ruffled shirts have a tight silhouette that allows the wearer to pull off flared trousers and pussy-bow shirts. But you will need the body of an underfed French poet to do it.
Slimane’s speciality is reinventing the unwearable, making it glamorous, desirable. His designs force the viewer to reconsider what they previously thought about flared trousers, or shirts with bow-collars. His is a mode of design and dressing which transcends trends and, assuming you’ve got the legs to pull it off, we dig it.