Fashion
  • Text Alex James Taylor
  • 26th October 2020

Live from Monaco

Hedi Slimane’s eighth Celine womenswear show took place inside Monaco’s Stade Louis II stadium, home of AS Monaco, located at the heart of the Principality. With views of the Mediterranean Sea below and steep mountains behind, around the venue’s overlapping roof, lights flickered with Slimane’s signature theatrical energy – in tune with the soundtrack beat: I Like Him (Celine extended version) by Princess Nokia.

Echoing Celine’s menswear counterpart, which saw models walk the Circuit Du Castellet racing track, here models paced the inside lanes of the venue’s running track – their clothing reflecting the purpose of the stadium by embracing a sportier, casual mindset. With Covid-19 pausing nightlife, Slimane shifted focus towards a new lifestyle, one focused on domestic relaxation and comfort.

Having previously established his own Celine form – an energised update on traditional Parisian bourgeois silhouettes and tropes – SS21 saw Slimane use this as an outer-layer baseline and built from within: blending formal, casual and athleticwear, structured blazers were worn over black bikini tops, sporty, branded crop tops and paired with tracksuit bottoms. An emphasis on ease of wearing mirrored what’s happening on the streets, in homes and on screens: as the lines between work and home are blurred, so too are the sartorial codes – urged by a new generation of youth. (Remember, Slimane recently announced Blackpink star Lisa Manoban as its global ambassador, think of K-pop’s youthquake and the manner in which it shook the foundations of music, fashion and social media, then connect the dots.)

There were safari camo bombers, denim shorts and the kind of flannel shirts you can never have too many of. Bucket hats and baseball caps were worn throughout, pulled down to eye-level, alongside lycra running shorts and oversized hoodies flung over chic tea dresses. Elsewhere, footwear was wide-ranging, from ballet flats to sneakers, boots, sandals, wellies and even some furry slippers: a far cry from Slimane’s usual array of gravity-defying heeled boots. Yet don’t confuse comfort for a lack of glamour: pussy-bow dresses were crafted with intricate, couture-level embroidery, bouclé suiting spoke of Paris’ old guard and sparking midi dresses reminded us of after-hours glitz. Above all, this was about establishing a new luxury that spoke to the youth of today, a generation finding joy by moving between the lines – of class, genre, cliques, subcultures. Slimane champions such fun.

Suddenly the stadium’s roof began to shapeshift, with each side sliding towards each other (Inception style) as the camera flew between, upwards into a clear, computer-generated night sky with a view of Earth from space – reminding us of the vastness beyond.