When I get asked to describe my personal style, my response is simple – the grunge princess Hedi Slimane was designing for. From 2000 to 2007, he revived Dior Homme. From 2012 to 2016, he dropped the Yves from the Saint Laurent and resurrected the brand into what we know it as today. In the last twenty years, no designer has had a greater influence on how (well-dressed) men dress.
His point of view is specific. Feminine with a side of rock and roll. Unapologetically sexy and young. And people seem to love it or hate it. Most recently, he has been receiving backlash for his complete overhaul of Celine. But, how are you going to tell an artist to change their medium? Any artist with a clear cut vision will evolve in degrees, not broad strokes. Clothing is art and Slimane is a Master.
If Hedi is being criticized for changing Celine’s aesthetic, then we should also critisize Demna Gvasalia for straying from Cristóbal Balenciaga’s couture pieces and Virgil Abloh for taking Louis Vuitton further down the rabbit hole that is streetwear. Slimane was never going to adopt past creative director’s Phoebe Philo comfortable minimalist vibe, the same way Philo’s next collection won’t be heavy on slim tailoring, leather jackets and biker boots.
A change in creative director equates to a change in aesthetic. And I, personally, could not be more excited to see what new changes Hedi implements in his new role. Celine knows what it’s doing now, too: all the pieces from Celine Men will be unisex in cut, a smart move as the line between male and female clothing becomes increasingly blurred.