Celine SS24: androgyny dressed in leather, lace and gold
By Alex James Taylor | Fashion | 20 October 2023

Hedi Slimane’s SS24 womenswear collection, La Collection de La Bibliotheque Nationale, was presented as a short film. Set inside Paris’ Bibliothèque nationale de France, which is located opposite the Celine atelier on Rue Vivienne and houses some of the rarest books, manuscripts, precious objects and artworks in the world, on this occasion, a model scans its shelves and reaches for a tome titled, Celine MMXXIII (2023).

The latest volume of Slimane’s Celine womenswear vision sees the designer continue his ongoing catalogue, bookended by two looks that act as a “reminder of Hedi Slimane’s commitment to a consistent style and allure of androgynous tailoring since starting his design career in the late 90s” – so the show notes read. This consistency is the pace that never dips, it’s the nuanced riffs in-between that define each season.

For SS24, it was a wriggling, snare-over-drum-machine beat courtesy of LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy, an extended version of his track Too Much Love soundtracking the show. The song appeared on the musician’s eponymous trailblazing 2005 debut record – an exhilarating work that drove the 00s indie movement to the dancefloor.

Tomboy, the show’s subtitle, referred to the long-established androgyny of Slimane’s design artistry; a tenet that underpins his entire body of work. Here, ‘menswear’ and ‘womenswear’ labels prove futile – it’s inevitably more about ‘silhouette’ and ‘attitude’.

Pacing between the lines of study tables inside the Bibliothèque wearing leather, slim tailoring, shearling embellishments and leopard print, these were the rebel kids set loose. The ones who wouldn’t give skipping homework for a night out a second thought. Logo Celine earphones around their neck – a collaboration with renowned audio engineers Master & Dynamics – LCD on full tilt, no doubt.

The surroundings rubbed off on collegiate style blazers, tweeds, thick knitwear and immaculate suiting, all amped up with Slimane’s sonic verve. Leather trousers laced and buckled up the sides were straight off the stage, as were embroidered chainmail dresses, while flared jeans were more backstage and raw hem shorts looked like they’d been ripped apart in a last minute time-saving frenzy. Miniskirts, cropped MA-1 bombers and shearling coats that hugged the body. A leather matching tracksuit was badass, as was the elevated simplicity of velvet trackpants worn with a distressed leather biker jacket and a devil-may-care ‘tude. It was what everyone was wearing in the early 00s, and what everyone will be wearing from today. A standout was an incredible gold tinsel dress that shimmered and shone with that sense of dangerous sexuality Slimane totally nails – you could absolutely picture it spinning in a nightclub firing spotlight reflections in every direction.

New footwear classics, models wore super furry, tan knee-high boots, aptly named ‘Bulky’, and ‘Polly’ ankle versions, or the Lola western boot with metal toe and 60mm heel. Choose your weapon. While hung on their shoulders were this season’s new bag silhouettes: including the chain-handle Victoire.

The film featured special appearances by actor Esther-Rose McGregor (daughter of Ewan McGregor) and British musician Stella Rose (daughter of Depeche Mode’s Dave Gahan) – her sultry baritone croons and hammered beats barely harnessed on her beguiling debut record Eyes of Glass.

The final look, an immaculate black and white single-breasted suit was the Slimane equivalent of an exclamation mark; bringing this season to a dramatic end before its time for the next volume to be opened.

GALLERYCatwalk images from Celine WOMENS-SPRING-SUMMER-24