A second look at Hedi Slimane’s polarising debut for Celine


By Stephanie Boey

A second look at Hedi Slimane’s polarising debut for Celine

“You don’t shake things up by avoiding to make waves,” said Hedi Slimane 3 days ahead of his debut show for Celine at Paris Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2019. After the announcement of his appointment in January, Slimane made his first major course of action as Celine’s new creative head by slashing away the accent on the logo.


Taking over after Phoebe Philo who forged the way by redefining what women wore — laid-back minimalism and sensibility — Slimane had big shoes to fill from the get-go which obviously came with expectations. His debut show opened with a literal drumroll… and out came the first look: a strapless polkadot party dress that grazed high on the thighs, embellished with an oversized bow at the bust — very ‘80s party girl. Safe to say, it was not what dutiful Celine fans had expected.


“When there’s no debate, it means there’s no opinion”, Slimane tells WWD, and its true that it was a big change from what we’re used to with Celine’s long-standing clean aesthetic. But it’s good to remember that change is inevitable, and usually difficult to embrace at the start. It’s a new dawn for Celine, Hedi Slimane is paving his own way at the start of his tenure at the French fashion house.


2 months after the much-talked-about show, Celine has released their womenswear Spring/Summer 2019 campaign. Presented by two square photos, the photographs align for side-by-side imagery of Slimane’s debut collection. The man behind the lens? Hedi Slimane himself.

You may recognise the sequinned low v-neck dress in crimson that Dakota Johnson wore to the Los Angeles premiere of Suspiria, which marked the first red carpet appearance of Slimane’s Celine. Model Hannah Motler (who opened the show in Paris in the aforementioned polkadot party dress) casually lounges in pose. Also spotted is the monogram “C” bag with its quilted squares and diamond-faceted chain, which collectively pays homage to Celine’s archives. Bags from the new era of Celine are now availabe, FYI. With the initial shock blown over, and with a fresh pair of eyes, take a second look at Hedi Slimane’s first collection for Celine below:

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