Downhill from here

Enter the world of Celine SS20: artist David Kramer on seeing his works hit the runway
Fashion | 26 June 2019

Drawing the SS20 menswear season to an exhilarating curtain close, on Sunday night Hedi Slimane took his Celine man through 70s NYC. While guests may have been sat in a specially-constructed box outside Paris’ Dome des Invalides, minds were instantly transported to Greenwich Village as models strutted out in kick flare trousers, varsity bombers and aviators.

A whirling tribute to the sonic trailblazers who were narrating new ground following the Summer of Love ’69, while Hedi’s designs speak volumes alone, this season saw the French designer’s ideas expressed in verbatim via a collaboration with US artist David Kramer. A child of the 70s, Kramer’s work sees him subvert the era’s lifestyle adverts, parodying their chirpy slogans with his own tongue-in-cheek takes on modern life, such as ‘Yesterday was better’, ‘Downhill from here’ and ‘I have nostalgia for things I probably have never known’. Mixed with Hedi’s designs, these slogans offered a self-deprecating prod that you couldn’t help but smirk with.

Having witnessed his artworks translate to Hedi’s Celine in person on Sunday – ultimate thrill – Kramer has digested the event and goes into detail below.

On being contacted by Hedi Slimane…
“Literally, I got an email asking if I was interested in collaborating. I thought it had to be a joke. I honestly wondered if I should even respond… But it was no joke! Hedi had been watching and seeing my work around art fairs for some time. I have been mining this territory of looking back into nostalgia for 1970’s lifestyle imagery juxtaposed to real-life slogans of current events through my text. I think Hedi saw a trend coming around these themes himself and he reached out to me – it’s amazing.”

On the slogans used in the show…
“Well, almost everything here came from paintings that I’ve been doing for the last year or two. We just started with this work and began to pull them apart to take the project and the work to a completely new level.”

On seeing the show and his artworks in the collection…
“I was as sitting in the audience watching the show yesterday. I had never been to a fashion show on this scale before – totally mind-blowing. The work in the collection looks great. I am so happy to see my words and images on some of the clothes and I was so psyched to see my paintings used as the invitation to the show and on the website. My paintings definitely had this overriding influence on the body of work that was created. But Hedi did it all! – he is amazing to work with.”

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