Fashion

Last week, Hedi Slimane closed the SS20 menswear season with a Celine SS20 performance that continues to rattle; a curtain-concealed box slid down the runway to the cue of a thudding bassline courtesy of New York-based art rock unit Bodega.

“Nothing arouses interest more than a concealed curtain,” Ben Hozie, conductor, vocalist and guitarist of Bodgea, tells us below. Sat front row –  Hedi knows priority – Hozie and his bandmates watched on as their track, Name Escape, burst out the speakers with as much urgency as the models on the runway.

Contacted via email, Hedi selected the Brooklyn group to soundtrack his latest Celine menswear vision – a translation of 70s NYC pomp; all flared jeans, slim tees and shaggy hair. Alongside a collaboration with artist David Kramer, whose work turns the era’s gleeful advertising imagery on its head, here was a tribute both to New York’s sonic past and its new vanguard.

And here’s the rub: both Hedi and Bodega recognise the power of a great performance. Take Bodega’s latest release, Witness Scroll, a live record recorded between Glasgow’s Poetry Club and The Lexington in London that corrals the frenetic chaos of their live show and immortalises it in wax. As for Hedi’s commitment to putting on a show, simply hit play below…

On being contacted by Hedi Slimane…
“His team reached out via e-mail saying they wanted a lengthy track for the show. It was a fun opportunity to reconfigure our music for a larger, stretched-out canvas.”

On the track Name Escape
“The song details observations from a typical night at a rock and roll show, specifically the now-defunct Bushwick DIY venue Palisades. The Smiths blare out of the PA as I chat with people I’ve seen hundreds of times but will never really know. The hard drive of my brain malfunctions or maybe just needs more memory.  

This specific feeling of seeing but not placing familiar faces stretches back millennia but I assume the magic plastic in my pocket is exasperating this proper noun memory inefficiency. Later I’ll investigate this man on Facebook but their profile picture is a Cezanne still life and I can’t be sure if their handle is a pseudonym or not.”

On having their track soundtrack the Celine SS20 show…
“Watching the show immediately made me flashback to the quiet afternoon three years ago when the lyrics and the track’s bassline were first conceived. How this constellation of frequencies and syllables travelled from there to this runway in Paris escaped me. I was impressed with the drama of the presentation; nothing arouses interest more than a concealed curtain.”

“This specific feeling of seeing but not placing familiar faces stretches back millennia but I assume the magic plastic in my pocket is exasperating this proper noun memory inefficiency.”

On the commonalities between Bodega and Hedi’s vision…
“As you probably know, it takes a deeply reverent person to develop an irreverent state of mind. Maybe that’s why, above all else, Hedi’s fascination with rock and roll signifiers strikes me as shockingly earnest. There are some of us acolytes, misguided or not, who still find freedom and liberation in the rock aesthetic.”

Read our report from the Celine SS20 show here.

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