Paris fashion week saw an about-turn on Friday when Hedi Slimane forfeited his signature skinny youth-styled collections for a bourgeois, 70s and Celine look of old. By Celine of old, we mean old, old Celine, before Philo, before Michael Kors, back when ladylike handbags, lush cashmere sweaters and a posh girl's wardrobe defined the brand.
Desirability came in two looks
Slimane gave us essentially two looks by definition, executed to perfection, and within this framework offered a multitude of retail possibilities. It was goodbye to micro dresses, the rock and roll by night atmosphere, and the glam 80s silhouettes that Slimane proposed for his Celine debut. Instead, say hello to culottes, a new fit skinny jean, jackets, knitwear and pretty blouses, all accessorised with knee-length boots and a sensible bag. In other words, real clothes.
There were only a handful of dresses on the runway this season. Each iteration, from the supplest camel leather to a knife-pleated silk print, came long-sleeved and hemmed below the knee. The statement was practical, yet toujours chic.
There was no flesh on show, no overt sexiness, any allure was hidden behind aviator sunglasses and the knowledge that the new Celine girl is intelligent, employed, and probably hails from the better Parisian neighbourhoods.
The collection was mostly daywear, with a dash of work wear, defined by a woolen pinstripe suit, offset by a creme cashmere rollneck. Culottes in various beige checks from houndstooth to micro to Scottish Highlands, were styled with blouses, either pussybow or with a ruffled collar. They were teamed with lush leather bombers, some adorned with horse bit jewellery, a motif that carried over to belts, bags and likely an entire retail collection not seen on the runway.
For evening, the aforementioned culottes came sparkled, or as part of a suit in bright paillettes. A gown swathed in gold leopard print hinted at the smallest dose of something high octane. Last season Slimane steered clear streetwear, again omitting sneakers and anything urban from his runway. This time round he also eschewed high glamour, and instead embarked on a revolution to offer the Celine girl real clothes.
Photo credit: Celine AW19, Catwalkpictures