It was the talk of Paris, the highlight of Paris Fashion Week, the much-awaited show of the season-Hedi Slimane’s take on Celine, the fashion house once known by the work of Phoebe Philo and its devoted followers- les philophiles
In the fashion world such rebrandings of established fashion houses happen much too often, in fact, they recently seem to be rather the norm. The obsession with Hedi Slimane’s idea of Celine was something more than a fashion viral-it was an issue with both aesthetic and political meaning and people were sensing that.
Hedi Slimane has a distinctive rock/grunge chic aesthetic he has been developing over the years. Being the chief director in Dior Homme was credited with revolutionizing menswear with his razor-sharp tailoring and slim fits. He ambitiously tried to impose his dogma while in Yves Saint Laurent by changing the name to Saint Laurent and sending down the runway mini dresses, leather jackets and miniskirts for millennial customers. His work at Celine was what it was expected to be-a continuation of his Saint-Laurent vision under the pretense of ‘rebranding’ Celine. In that sense, it could have been any other brand so why is all that noise? Isn’t he being true to himself?
A continuation of aesthetics is something remarkable-still the key is the evolution of the codes. Slimane’s work seems to repeat itself eternally as if nothing has changed in between a decade without taking into account that fashion itself has changed.I’m not saying he should preserve Philo’s codes in the sense that she also impose her own vision when coming at Celine but still, couldn’t he offer something new, something modern? Apparently not.
And so it was his vision in the place of Philo’s Celine which was based in an established conversation between the brand and the women customers, women that felt empowered, beautiful and comfortable in their Celine outfits despite age and body type. The new Celine caters for the young, the rich and the beautiful, the millennials that bought Slimane’s Saint Laurent and were ready to follow his vision everywhere. The new Celine appeared to be non-inclusive and elitist-quite the opposite from Philo’s. This shift was becoming a political one serving disturbing core values. Or rather, the death of creativity in favor of sales. And mind you, there will be sales.
After all, there is no better advertising than bad reviews. Everywhere.