Designer’s first show for Celine eschews bare skin for classic lines
Politics are the new hemlines at fashion week. After triggering a firestorm of feminist anger with the bare-skin-and-teen aesthetic of his first collection for Celine, designer Hedi Slimane followed up with a move from the Donald Trump playbook of radical unpredictability. His second Celine collection at Paris fashion week, shown on Friday, gave his audience the one thing they didn’t expect – namely, what they’d hoped for.
Slimane’s riposte to accusations of commodifying women’s sexuality is about as robust as it gets in fashion: this season, he is really into tweed culottes. Six months ago, his vision for the house of Celine centred on rollerskating skinny teens in tiny party dresses, mostly strapless, almost all micro-mini. Of the 59 looks of his sophomore show in the Hotel des Invalides, only one – a long silk dress with a deep V-neck, worn under a heavy sheepskin gilet – showed even an inch of skin below the neck. The rest of the show consisted of trousers or below-the-knee skirts worn over slouchy boots, paired with sweaters and high-necked blouses.