As usual, don’t expect novelty in Hedi Slimane‘s Celine collection – rather, an attitude. There is literally nothing fashion-forward about the spring-summer 2023, because Slimane rather styles wardrobe classics than reinterprets them. The designer has infused his classic rock and roll DNA into the nautical nature of Saint-Tropez. Yet most of the looks felt more like a look-back at Kate Moss’ Glastonbury style or Anna Delvey’s attire in her New-York-scammer-peak-point era. But the sun-drenched view in the backdrop was pretty. 2022’s fashion won’t free itself from Y2k aesthetic, that’s for sure, and Slimane also celebrates it. Why not – he’s the king of the indie sleaze aesthetic. Best evidence? In the curation of the music for the Saint-Tropez collection, Slimane has tapped his longtime friends, The Libertines, for their song “Music When the Lights Go Out” from their cult-classic album The Libertines that was released in 2004. What about the clothes? In true Hedi fashion, the jeans are skinny and the boots are high. The core of a Slimane collection is solid; rock & roll chic looks run deep in the hand of the designer who pioneered putting underground rock styles on the runway. Yet in the presence of his foundation, Slimane toys around with these two conflicting narratives of the town; relaxing on the beach versus tearing up the dance floor. The spirit of the ocean is present in nautical sweaters, matching pinstripe sets, and a brilliant captain’s hat that features the house monogram. Sailor button closures are seen in trousers and mini shorts, paired with loose gauge oversized knits that are ideal for yachting season. You know how I feel about Hedi Slimane’s Celine: I don’t really care for it, but I’m always curious to see where the designer’s stubbornness goes next.
Collage by Edward Kanarecki. Don’t forget to follow Design & Culture by Ed on Instagram!
Celine chose to present its spring-summer 2022 collection on Nice’s historic Promenade Des Anglais, a site which was built in the 18th century by the English aristocracy who took up a second home for their winter residence. The collection, entitled “Baie des Anges“, nodded to this historic setting, and was presented via a catwalk film, directed by Hedi Slimane himself, and starring Celine girls (including Kaia Gerber). Love it or hate it, this was a 100% Hedi collection. But one thing I’ve gradually started to appreciate about his Celine line-ups is their absolute timeless-ness and versatility. If you’ve got a striped shirt, a vintage black blazer, a pair of perfectly-fitting jeans and a cap, you can recreate pretty much every Celine collection from the last two years. However, at the same time, Slimane’s recent collections are just so undemanding design-wise and uniform that you start to wonder if they even need fashion shows. The main spring-summer 2022 image that stucks in your mind is the following: to the endlessly cool soundtrack of Can’s 1972 deep cut Vitamin C, the as always super-skinny models walk along the riviera, in their sharply tailored jackets paired with bralettes, bodycon sequin skirts and platform trainers. Sequins are a recurring theme throughout the collection – not only do they adorn a khaki loungewear hoodie and tracksuit co-ord, but also a figure-hugging, cowl-neck dress with a matching clutch bag, and golden pussybow shirts with bouffant sleeves, worn with knee-length jersey shorts. Hedi Slimane is no longer interested in shocking fashion moments – rather, he prefers to focus on proper wardrobe classics and the “too cool to care” styling.
Everybody’s heard of Saint Tropez, but the stereotype we all know is quite misleading. It’s imagined to be a sort of place you learn about through the amniotic murk – an iconic coastal town barnacled with Mediterranean hedonism. But to be honest, in fact this place is rather calm and peaceful. At least off-season. With its rolling countryside, long, golden beaches, and breathtaking light, Saint-Tropez is one of the French Riviera’s most gorgeous destinations. This picturesque peninsula on the Côte d’Azur still embraces its history as a quiet fishing village and artists’ enclave – it lured painters such as Henri Matisse long before it was made famous by legendary beauty Brigitte Bardot, who has called it a “little nook of paradise.” Here are the two places I’ve especially loved in this town:
The Dior Villa. If you read my site for a while, then you know I’m not a Dior person (especially Maria Grazia Chiuri’s Dior). But somehow, in Saint Tropez, it all clicked – the intricately embroidered eveningwear, the pearl jewellery, the glassware… this is the French way. And of course loved the delightfully furnished store, which as well serves coffee in its yard.
13 Rue François Sibilli
Lots of huge, old cypress trees and yes, Brigitte Bardot is everywhere…
L’Atelier 55 specialises in vintage, restored design and it has a branch of stores located in Paris, Megève and other French destinations. Their boutique in Saint Tropez is kept in matching, Mediterranean style and its filled with original 1960s posters, Pierre Jeanneret armchairs and plates illustrated by Jean Cocteau. The staff here knows pretty much everything about 20th century French design, so you can always treat this place like a sort of encyclopedia. And if you’re planning to move to Saint Tropez… you know where to get your furniture!
Can’t believe I’m finally finishing my coverage from our French Riviera road trip, which took place back in January! I just can’t not write about the beautiful Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild, located on a hill just a few kilometres from Cap Ferrat. The villa of Béatrice Ephrussi de Rothschild houses a rich fine and decorative arts collection (the owner had collected well over 5,000 pieces ranging from fine furniture to paintings, statues, and porcelain dinnerwar), all exhibited in a Belle Époque, Italian-style palazzo. Hiring and firing at least ten architects during the seven-year building period, it reflects her taste perfectly. She used it as residence and party villa until the 1930s before bequeathing it to the Institute de France for use as a fine art museum. The magnificent park with nine distinct gardens is equally attractive year-round (we’ve been there in January, although it felt like it’s mid-spring!). The mild weather of the Côte d’Azur ensures that there are always flowers in bloom but spring and high summer see the most vibrant colors. Visitors may wander through the gardens at will but do pick up a map of the garden. Following the suggested route, you can stroll through the gardens with Villefranche-sur-Mer views before scaling a small hill and descending next to the waterfall into the French garden in front of the villa. Spending an afternoon here feels like a dream.
In craggy cliffs high above the sea, the medieval village of Èze is a delightful step back in time. The well-preserved stone buildings, winding alleyways, 14th-century chapels, and dramatic Mediterranean backdrop make this tiny village seem like a movie set. The views are best earned by taking one of the many hiking trails, like the famous Nietzsche path, that connect the the town and the summit, which sits 1,400 feet above sea level. At the top, you’ll discover the town’s medieval fortress, which you may recognize from Hitchcock’s “To Catch a Thief”, surrounded by the Jardin Exotique, a desert garden brimming with succulents and exotic florals. The wonderful sea breeze is another reason to get up here!