Though there are bigger problems going on, it’s still hard to believe we live in a post-Phoebe Philo world (at Celine, at least). And Hedi Slimane ‘s debut as Celine’s newly minted artistic, creative, and image director wasn’t exactly comforting. To catch you up to speed if you’re just joining us: For the French label’s spring 2019 show, Slimane struggled to interpret, or redefine, what “sexy” looks like post-#MeToo — and from a male perspective.
The industry didn’t mince words when it came to letting Slimane have it. But neither did he. Now, thanks to Dakota Johnson, we have a first look at what Celine ready-to-wear looks like in the real world.
Though Johnson is preceded by Lady Gaga and Angelina Jolie, both of whom debuted Slimane’s premiere handbag for the house — a sturdy, black, Saint Laurent-looking tote — the actress took to the Suspiria red carpet in a cherry red sequin mini-dress. Only ostensibly could we say this is a party dress, what with the French designer’s penchant for the short and shiny, but also due to the fact that Slimane’s collections don’t usually leave for room for much else, save for a pin-thin suit or something leather. Johnson looked chic, as she always does (typically in Gucci or Proenza Schouler), but it will require more than a bell sleeve for the new Celine to take off.
So, what were we expecting, then? Well, at this point, we can’t really say. But the only Celine- ish thing about Slimane’s debut was the menswear. Actually, there are a few starlets trying their hand at conventional menswear right now, like the aforementioned Gaga, who wore an oversized Marc Jacobs suit to Elle ‘s Women In Hollywood event and made a statement out of it, and now Rita Ora, who recently donned another Jacobs suit to denounce bullying. Add Cara Delevingne in a rule-breaking Emporio Armani suit at Princess Eugenie’s wedding and you’ve got yourself an official trend.
That something is mens- or womenswear is beside the point. And it seems Johnson is sporting Slimane’s triggering Celine proudly. Even if Slimane is sticking to his guns and his polarizing vision – that’s a laudable conviction – we don’t have to buy it.
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