As the master of cool, designer Hedi Slimane nods to the past and the present in one epic sweep
Celine has just unveiled its new resort 2023 collection in the French coastal city of Saint-Tropez.
Now the home of its creative director Hedi Slimane, Saint-Tropez is where he relocated to on joining the company in 2017. For the decade prior to that, while he was at Calvin Klein, and before that at Saint Laurent, the Belgium designer had lived in Los Angeles for 10 years.
This is all significant because nothing happens in Slimane's world by chance. With headquarters on the French coast, he leans into it for inspiration. His beach house here, for example, is the template for the interiors of Celine stores worldwide. The designer has turned to it once again, to conjure a collection for the beach lifestyle of Celine's resort 2023.
Inevitably, horizontal boating stripes appear, but now on a cropped jumper, worn with micro shorts and a boating hat, or tipped vertically on a prim buttoned top and mini skirt, both with nautical flap pockets.
Cropped military-esque jackets and denim mini skirts make an appearance in Celine's resort 2023 collection. Photo: Celine
As one of the major influences of fashion for the past 20 years, it was Slimane, after all, who single-handedly invented the skinny jeans trend when he brought shrunken suiting to Dior Homme in the 2000s. He is now circling back to that skinny fit look, with spray-on jeans in artisanal Japanese denim in blue or black for this latest collection. With the show called "Indie Summer", it is a revisiting of many of the themes that have defined his career to date.
Case in point: Slimane, who is always plugged into the underground music scene, called on British rockers The Libertines to soundtrack the show. The band, who earned fame, and notoriety, in the 2000s, were clad, naturally, in the skinny jeans, loose shirt and skinny scarf aesthetic Slimane captured all those years ago.
On the runway, alongside the tightest of tight jeans, Slimane brought back the narrow shoulder, seen on jackets and even leathers, creating an elongated, waif-life silhouette. Yet, the tightness of the clothes is counterbalanced by heavy, wide-topped biker boots, and loose shirts, held in place with low-slung belts.
Heavy knitted cardigans, or neat cropped military-esque jackets, all come teamed with large, almost oversized handbags, while bandeau-style denim mini skirts, and button-front suede mini dresses are softened with hand-crocheted jackets.
Even the classic leather jacket has been reworked, now in butter-soft leather, and recut to follow the body.
Adept at plugging into the zeitgeist, Slimane has once again created a wardrobe that will speak to the cool kids. With an unnerving eye, he has always created clothes for the young, the musicians, the upstart artists, and the effortless, and this latest outing is no exception.
Young, brazen and oozing insouciance, this is Slimane at his finest.