Fashion, an industry with a decades-long established set of rules and stringent deadlines to follow - you knew when X or Y designer would showcase their collections because…FASHION MONTH! – has, like most things, pivoted its usual modus operandi due to the pandemic. Breaking free from the usual show model as we once knew it. Hedi Slimane, for instance, announced just a few days ago that he would be presenting his women’s AW21 collection for CELINE this week. (The invitation came in a form of three golden dice cubes). After staging his men’s show at Château de Chambord, the Renaissance architectural pearl in the Loire valley, he continued his tour of French castles, inviting us (virtually) to a parade in the gardens of Vaux-Le-Vicomte...
The show took place in the royal gardens of Vaux-le-Vicomte castle just outside of Paris, created by the iconic landscape architect, André Le Nôtre in 1656. Models walked the gravel pathways, decorated with basins, statues, stone curbs and bronze fountains. As Hedi Slimane explained in his show notes, historically, they were the first “French Gardens”, built before Le Nôtre’s most famous works like Versailles or Tuileries gardens: “The Great Century was born at Vaux-Le-Vicomte”.
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Entitled Parade (a nod to French poet Arthur Rimbaud’s poem of the same name), the tenth collection of Hedi Slimane for CELINE was a “melancholic daydream of youth interrupted.” Key looks included sparkling dresses with voluminous ball gown skirts, paired with chunky leather jackets, asymmetrical crop-tops styled with sharp blazers, and chic tweeds worn with straight blue jeans. Elsewhere: one-size fits-all trench coats, wide-legged jeans and cropped shearling coats. And a lot of sequin, embellished on blouses, plissé skirts, slip-dresses, tailored jackets and cosy knitted cardigans.
As a long-time music aficionado, Slimane asked a young French-Russian multi-disciplinary artist and performer Regina Demina to compose an original soundtrack for the show (before becoming a singer, she was working as a pole dancer to pay for theatre school). She called it “Un Daydream”, an ode to melancholy, lost love and dreaming of magic, featuring harp arrangements by Léonie Favre-Tissot.