I debated on whether or not to bother commenting on Hedi Slimane’s SS19 debut at Celine. The collection made me sad for the great loss of the Phoebe Philo aesthetic. Granted, I wasn’t a big consumer of the ready-to-wear, although I admired and appreciated her work and vision. It just didn’t fit my lifestyle and often budget. But the shoes, bags and accessories were another story, always spot on in striking a chord between fashion forward and luxe classic. Philo connected with women and created pieces for her loyal following that became covetable icons of Celine. Sadly, and we knew it was coming, that era has passed.
The new Celine is hard and edgy with a precision focus on youth culture from a specific market. Gone is the sophisticated daywear with modern separates for women. Hello nightlife and clubbing. I’m curious if the brand will gain the obsessive dedication from its new target the old Celine mastered. Is that limited demographic enough? Probably not, but perhaps there’s a new market that will cling to the Hedi Slimane world of Celine, and that is men.
The Celine men’s collection was classic Slimane. We’ve seen skinny pants, trim jackets, and narrow shoes over and over again, but under the first ever mens collection for the label, there might be a renewed interest or intrigue. I should add that the entire men’s line up is unisex and will be available for women, and maybe that’s the point. It’s well known that his female fan base often shop the tailored pants and shrunken jackets designed for men and in this case, there may be no other option for women in search of Celine daywear.
It’s a new beginning for Celine. At this point, with such a sharp turn away from the loyal fanbase, only time will tell of its success. Vogue’s Sarah Mower explains, “…Slimane’s aesthetic world-view doesn’t include the class of women who were prepared to pay full price for anything Philo designed.” The Celine obsessed women, Philophiles, have been abandoned.
For a walk down memory lane, I’m revisiting some of my previous posts on Celine:
Source: photos courtesy of Vogue