Celebs Sure Love Hedi Slimane’s Celine, Even if Critics Don’t
Hedi Slimane‘s first collection as creative director of Celine (RIP accent aigu) was awaited by critics and fashion buffs with a fair bit of hostility. But even so, no one was quite expecting the backlash that flooded social media moments after his debut hit the runway. Reviews from fashion writers were swiftly unleashed and let’s just say, no one dug it.
“A brand that was once thoroughly identified with a peerless instinct for what women want in fashion all of a sudden looked like a gust of toxic masculinity,” wrote Tim Blanks for the Business of Fashion. “A provocative designer has just blown up a 70-year-old brand,” read Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Robin Givhan‘s headline for the Washington Post, while the New York Times’ Vanessa Friedman referred to the collection as “pouty” and “infantilizing.” My own post-show piece mourned the loss of the brand that had meant so much to women under Phoebe Philo‘s leadership, and bid it farewell.
But the brand, inexplicably, has translated its failure amongst fashion insiders into a success with Hollywood’s A-listers, who have been donning the label with such regularity that emails from its PR team have become frequent, familiar visitors in my inbox. Lady Gaga was the first to give the world a glimpse of Slimane’s vision for the new Celine, debuting a handbag from his first collection before it even appeared on the runway. Her support of the brand makes sense given her long history with Slimane. “They’re really close friends and they have been since he photographed her for ‘The Fame Monster’ album cover,” Gaga’ stylist Tom Eerebout told BoF. Some of the other celebrity endorsements are a bit harder to explain. Case in point: Natalie Portman, who is rarely spotted on the red carpet in anything other than Dior, for which she’s an ambassador, has worn Slimane’s Celine on more than one occasion on the promo tour of her new film Vox Lux.
Since the collection debuted just a few months ago, in September 2018, celebs like Naomi Watts, Lupita Nyong’o and Saoirse Ronan have worn its pieces to everything from fancy dinner parties to awards shows. While Philo’s Céline was adored both on the runway and in real life, it was rarely spotted on the red carpet. With Slimane’s Celine, it seems, things will be precisely the opposite.
Here’s a gallery of all the women who’ve been spotted wearing looks from Celine’s Spring/Summer ’19 collection so far.