Exceptional Frenchness


Text by Francesca Fontanesi

Hedi Slimane perfectly balances the refined with the casual. The tweed riding jackets reinvent the Celine codes, while romantic trenches lighten the spaces of Salle Pleyel.

The ability of Slimane to masterfully combine the extremely refined with the casual is encapsulated in the tweed riding jackets paired with worn jeans, while asymmetric tops stand out here and there within the outfits. For the Fall/Winter 2024 collection, romantic trench coats in beige double-breasted – the collection is an ode to neutral colors, sand beige, blush pink, glacé brown, and white always accompanied by golden jewels or overlapping pearl necklaces – reveal glimpses of knee-high leather equestrian boots. Mini dresses with metallic scales are matched with baseball caps with curved visors, clean lines and new proportions make the classic pieces and always confirm them as iconic, the checkered caban coats almost hiding under the grandeur of the round gold buttons bearing the Celine logo. Very French mary-jane shoes peek out from under skirts and are coordinated with a patent leather total look in contrast only with the white collar. And then there are them: the Triomphe bags. In 1971, Céline Vipiana finds herself in Place de l’Étoile after her car breaks down, and it is at that moment that she notices the chain mesh surrounding the Arc de Triomphe, a decorative motif that will soon become the Celine monogram. In 2018, upon his arrival at Celine, Hedi Slimane redesigns this historic emblem with a modernist approach and calls it triomphe, a motif that now reappears collection after collection. Recalling the origins of the Maison, the Collection de l’Arc de Triomphe looks back to the Sixties, Celine’s golden age, and is a self-dedication to the clean cuts and formal perfection of Richard Avedon.

“As for the creation of exclusive fabric or leather for Celine, black requires a very special attention. We go through hundreds of samples in order to find the perfect black jacket or the perfect little black dress”.

– Hedi Slimane

“Celine is a vision of Paris, a way of being worn”.

– Hedi Slimane

The collection was presented in various historic Art Déco settings in Paris: La Salle Pleyel, recognized as a historic monument, is one of the prominent musical venues in the capital and one of the most important French halls of the 20th century. Inaugurated in 1927 and named after the piano manufacturer Pleyel, La Salle Pleyel was built to replace the numerous halls with the same name constructed in the previous century; until 2015, the concert hall was exclusively reserved for symphony concerts, for which the space was specially designed, ensuring the best acoustic sound – considered revolutionary for its time. The Celine Music Box served as a set design for the original rotunda of La Salle Pleyel. The Salle des Plâtres of the Musée Bourdelle – built in 1961 by architect Henri Gautruche to commemorate the centenary of Bourdelle’s birth, is spacious enough to house his monumental plaster casts. The immaculateness and clarity of this modern temple highlight one of the master’s sources, namely ancient Greece and its heroes, sculpted with all the power of his inspiration: Tête d’Apollon (1898-1909), Héraklès Archer (1910), Pénélope (1905-1912), Centaure mourant (1911-1914), and Sapho (1889-1925). Unlike bronze casts, displayed as finished works, plaster casts reveal some of the sculptor’s creative process, with its marks and interconnected parts. La Maison de la Chimie, where Hedi Slimane presented his first show in 1997 for Yves Saint Laurent, is a synthesis of 18th-century French architecture and Art Déco styles and, together with the other rooms, encapsulates the essence of Celine’s aesthetic and allure.

The collection marks the birth of Celine Beauté, the first cosmetics line in the history of the maison. Created by Hedi Slimane in 2023, it is the natural extension of the Celine Haute Parfumerie collection launched in 2019.

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