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Slimane's Celine | Latest News & Updates at Daily News & Analysis

Last week speculations about designer Hedi Slimane’s possible appointment at Dior or Chanel were put to rest when he was appointed at the hallowed French house — Celine as its artistic, creative and image director. The designer will expand the LVMH-owned label’s offering into menswear, couture and fragrance. While Celine has always been a thinking woman’s brand, with a very practical-yet-polished approach to clothing, Hedi has always been synonymous with youth fetish — be it his men’s skinny suits at Dior Homme or the Glam Rock mini crinis at Saint Laurent. While Celine speaks to a more grown-up demographic of shoppers, Hedi’s rocker chic fan girls are much younger who won’t shy away from donning a mono-boob dress. It’ll be interesting to see Hedi’s reinterpretation of Celine’s cultivated design and iconography given its cohesive DNA. Designer Nachiket Barve who worked with Celine in 2004 when Michael Kors was its creative director (MK quit the house the same year) observes, “ A new appointment brings in new energy to the house and also a new customer and changes the face and fortune of the house if it’s a successful match. Hedi Slimane is rather youth-centric and will perhaps bring in a different demographic of shoppers. It will be interesting to see how he reinterprets the design and iconography of Celine.”

‘HEDI HAS A CROWN OF THORNS’

FDCI blogger and columnist Asmita Aggarwal says, “Celine for the first time had the courage to take an 80-year-old woman and feminist writer Joan Didion as her muse which changed the face of fashion as it was no longer about brawn but brains. Phoebe Philo kept away from the social media monster and always maintained a low profile and wanted to let the brand and its ideology speak for itself. So it will be interesting to see what the new designer does and which direction he will take. And Heidi has a crown of thorns we will have to see how he will elevate the brand.”

‘BOTH PHOEBE AND HEDI ARE REBELS’

Designer Amit Aggarwal says, “Though I’ve loved Celine from the day Phoebe took it on, I do feel that each brand needs a reinvention after a point. Also, it keeps the viewer and the wearer more excited about a particular brand. With Slimane, though visually the brand might change but I do see a cohesive DNA of the woman they speak of. She is a rebel of sorts just like both the creative directors, Phoebe and Hedi. I know Saint Laurent became an overnight rage. Maybe not the clothes as much but the accessories were sold out on pre-booking. I don’t know honestly about the profits that the brand will make under Hedi but I do think it’s something to look forward to.”

‘MAYBE CELINE IS READY FOR A CHANGE’

Nachiket opines, “I’ve worked at Celine and the label has always been the metaphor for Parisian chic and quality. The label has appealed to a tasteful and nuanced woman and Phoebe Philo has been its strongest collaborator. Having said that, today these storied fashion houses — be it Dior or Celine have seen a change of guard with new creative directors lending them their own identity. It’s no longer about the founder’s identity. It’s like everyone is writing their own chapter in a book. For instance, Hubert de Givenchy was all about elegance and when Alexander McQueen and Riccardo Tisci took over, they lent it their own individualistic stamps. Now with Claire Wane Wright who comes from Chloe, she’s peppered it with a poetic femininity. Maybe Celine is ready for a change.”



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