Hedi Slimane Continues His Legacy for Celine Spring 2019

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It took a few seconds for your eyes, already adjusted to the dim lighting inside Les Invalides, to understand what you were looking at on the Celine runway for Spring/Summer 2019: a spitting image, an identical replica to designer Hedi Slimane’s previous work at Saint Laurent and Dior Homme. It was all there in the noir palette, leggy looks, lean tailoring, and rock ‘n roll sophistication; the codes had survived a transfer to yet another brand.

The plan was to build Celine – a small, intellectual fashion house favored by fashion editors and self-made women – into a megabrand, much like he did at Saint Laurent, transforming it into a billion-dollar business in less than three years. In keeping the same identity as a through-line in his work, Slimane has all but assured Celine’s future commercial success.

Photo: Courtesy of Celine

Slimane’s determination and commitment to a singular, well-honed aesthetic answers so many of the questions that followed his appointment. Many wondered if he would remake Celine in his own image, or attempt to fuse his codes with the existing house codes. The answer, it seems, is the former. Slimane picked up where he left off, right down to the voluminous, couture shapes that comprised his finale for Saint Laurent.

Sparkly-tough cocktail dresses, trim moto jackets, latex frocks, and other assorted hip, young, party clothes populated Slimane’s debut collection at Celine, unequivocally asserting a new way forward, a new mood — a whole new woman, in fact. It was also very recognizably the work of his hand. It is so “Slimane” in its stewardship of his vision that it made us realize something unexpected: the new Celine might take some getting used to.

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