by Fiachra GIBBONS
Fashion superstar Hedi Slimane gave secondhand shops across the world a major boost Friday with a Celine show that raided the 1970s wardrobe lock, stock and culottes.
For the third Celine show in a row, the French designer turned the clock back to the 1970s and early 1980s, with faded flared denims, pussy bow silk blouses, blazers and long skirts and boots.
He continued the bourgeois, horsey-set vibe of his first fall winter collection at the label in March, where he brought back the culotte — one of the big high street trends of the year.
But the legendary trendsetter charged by LVMH fashion magnate Bernard Arnault with turning Celine into a major global brand, gave his looks more of the stylish Slimane twist than the cut-and-paste feel of his earlier efforts.
In a rare interview before the show, Slimane said riffing on the clothes of the buttoned-up country set was actually quite radical in a time of “streetwear logo-obsessed normcore”.
“Celine’s neo-bourgeois Parisian women are like punks, completely out there,” he told Vogue.
– Pallenberg and Richards –
He said he was channelling the way the late German actress Anita Pallenberg would sometimes look when she stepped out on the arm of Rolling Stone Keith Richards back in the day.
The patchwork brown leather jackets, shearling-edged suede coats and calf-length dresses with long boots were less hippy-dippy and a lot more rocky and streetwise than their Laura Ashley or Biba ancestors, however.
And there is little doubt that you will not find the kind of finishing that Slimane’s Celine offers — or the price tag — in your local charity shop.
Just like his revival of the culotte, you can bet that plenty of people will be copying his dark tightly wrapped scarves worn around the head with long loose hair.
The same goes for his white summer version of a wide-brimmed Anne Hall one, and burnished gold dresses.
Narrow belts also figured prominently in the show with high-necked, embroidered blouses and dresses with busy but muted chain prints.
The riding skirts, capes and culotte skirts that dominated the winter show reappeared this time in more refined, urban versions.
The show was decidedly more feminine and less gender fluid than Slimane’s previously controversial outings at the label, once the hunting ground of the much-admired British designer Phoebe Philo.
Slimane was savaged by critics after his opening show last October for unceremoniously dumping Philo’s minimalist feminist aesthetic, with one branding him the “Donald Trump of fashion” and another abhorring the “crotch-skimming cocktail dresses” he had made for wafer-thin vamps.
But Slimane did an about-turn in his second show in March to his 1970s/1980s reboot, a look he now seems to be sticking to.
The man once known as the “Sultan of Skinny” has a record of turning labels into cash cows, but also of ruffling feathers.
He dropped the Yves from Saint Laurent when he took over as artistic director at the iconic house in 2012.