Hedi Slimane's Controversial Celine SS 2019 Debut :
"Paris La Nuit"
The most highly anticipated and controversial fashion show of the season was the Celine Spring 2019 ready-to-wear show. It didn’t come as much of a surprise that Hedi Slimane completely took Celine in a new direction, one that is more masculine, rocker chic, and reflective of his days at Dior Homme and, more recently, Saint Laurent. His signature stick thin, pale, androgynous models lined the runway in dark colors (hence the title of the show, “Paris La Nuit”) and boxy, masculine silhouettes. The difference between Phoebe Philo and Hedi Slimane’s Celine are truly day and night, and came with a lot of criticism. Regardless, Slimane’s Spring 2019 ready-to-wear show is the talk of the season.
Philo’s Celine marked an era of the refined woman with blush tones, modesty, and, most notably, a feminine silhouette. Clearly, fashion is moving in the direction of a blurred line between femininity and masculinity. Slimane wrote in his program notes, “Journal Nocturne de la Jeunesse Parisienne” (nocturnal journal of Parisian youth), nothing more, nothing less. And the pieces were exactly that. Anyone would be foolish to think that Celine’s transition from Philo to Slimane would be anything but sudden.
The controversy surrounding this show could mark the beginning of a rivalry between Celine and Saint Laurent. “Jeunesse” is an interesting word choice; fashion has always reflected the cultural and political climate of its respective time. Today’s “jeunesse” (youth) is very radical, change driven, and fun. While Philo’s Celine celebrated the refined woman, Slimane’s Celine doesn’t exactly do the opposite. With the implementation of the little black dress paired with boxy, rocker style boots, Slimane realizes that it is the refined woman who has changed. While critics can say all they want about how fashion ties into politics, culture, and society, one thing we should never forget is that fashion should be fun. And that’s a huge part of Hedi Slimane’s message, there’s a little bit of nocturnal Parisian youth in all of us.