Celine FW22: Hedi Slimane’s glam wonderland shimmers into existance
By Alex James Taylor | Fashion | 4 March 2022

Cast in black and white, a boy sits in an empty Parisian café, head in his hands on the table. He seeks escape, and finds it in a neon sign: BOY DOLL CELINE. A gold lamé curtain raises to a new world and our lost romantic is reborn, draped in a tinsel-threaded couture cape like a glam rock god birthed in an ambient Brian Eno soundscape. Follow us down the rabbit hole: Hedi in Wonderland.

Inside L’Oympia, Paris’ oldest music hall, a new beat echoed loud – an original composition by Swedish musician ShitKid titled Favourite Thing – shaking a glitterball dream until it smashed into reality. Stage set, our Celine romantics strutted onto the stage and into a world of their own making. Against a noir frame, this was total, certified glam. The sort of glam that leaks from underground bars you never even knew existed (always follow the light). 

Tinsel continued to stream across garments like glitterbug explosions, reflecting stage lights back at themselves in disbelief. Leggings and tops became bejewelled couture chainmail and statement necklaces dripped crystals. Tailoring was as meticulous as ever in its ice-cold new wave demeanour – worn with ties so slim they seemed to morph into bolo ties – while tuxedo jackets were boxy and cropped at the waist, paired with leather skirts. Models wore shades as protection from low-flying shimmer bolts: a new Celine Moon silhouette defined by frameless mirror lenses.

In this dreamscape, worlds collide and subcultures harmonise to the same radical beat. Tracksuit bottoms were sealed with snap button seams over cowboy ‘Cruiser’ boots as platform boots raised the stakes. Zebra and Tiger patchwork, camo, checkered flannels, perfecto leathers, studs and embroidered argyle. Jewels overlapped into tailored coats like thick mermaid scales and exquisite embroidered fringing swung like chandeliers as models walked, giving a new glint to Gram Parson’s Rhinestone Cowboy. ‘Dancing with the intent to destroy rigid limits’ read one instructive leather jacket, while works by US artist Banks Violette decorated pieces with a white stallion and a black flag alongside seven other artist collaborations.

Denim was wide and chopped in a new Wesley silhouette, while leather was cut to the bone with slimline drama. And here comes the golden child: donning a full gold look as slick as his hair – Elvis would’ve wept with joy. 

Inside this historical music theatre, the ghosts of its stage swirled in delight – Gainsbourg, Bechet, Fitzgerald, Brel, Buckley, Bowie – and Hedi Slimane’s bright young things shimmered and burned deep into the night.


GALLERYCatwalk images from Celine FW22