While Raf Simons understands the youth and reflects its dreams and fantasies in the best way, Hedi Slimane‘s – another designer who’s obsessed with all things young – execution of this theme at Celine feels shallow and tone-deaf. Somehow, at Saint Laurent it worked well, but here, with every season, it just gets worse. Spring-summer 2021 collection, filmed in the Stade Louis II, a sport venue in Monaco, is an example of remarkably lazy design with over-exaggerated confidence. “With this collection Hedi wants to show, through the youth and optimism, the hope in this uncertain time”, said the brand’s press note. Sorry, but I found no optimism in a bunch of crop-tops with logo bands and un-inspiring denim pants (at worst, grey sweat-pants). This was an ode to the ‘basic girl’, and definitely not about the actual youth of today that’s vocal about voting, takes part in Black Lives Matter and women’s rights protests across the world or is socially engaged. The vague-ness of this line-up escalates with each look. She’s “always the Parisian, but with a new energy – she listens to rap/hip-hop music”. Oh, wow, sounds like an Emily in Paris. Princess Nokia’s “I Like Him” looped hypnotically as the models strode the circuit, which is the only thing I liked about this collection. But their Celine-logo baseball caps (I can’t stand that merchanside-driven part the most) and ‘so whatever’ styling was utterly depressing. The problem is that Slimane doesn’t evolve aesthetically, and his ‘youthfulness’ feels exhausted and irrelevant. It’s no longer an attitude, but a mad-priced costume.
Collage by Edward Kanarecki.