CELINE MEN SPRING-SUMMER 2020 FASHION SHOW

“I have nostalgia for things I have probably never known. There is no irony here.” Okay.

By Balthzar Malevolent

CELINE MEN SPRING-SUMMER 2020 FASHION SHOW

“I have nostalgia for things I have probably never known. There is no irony here.” Okay. Hedi Slimane did not speak these terms, direct quoting not being his style, but in a book of posters released at the exhibition, he let the artist David Kramer say them for him. Slimane (born 1968) and Kramer (born 1963) are soul mates, destined to be pissed forever that they were born too late to taste the early '70s rock-and-roll hedonism. They didn't get to swagger high-waist flares and dandified fitted suits from Savile Row; go backstage around the Stones when they headed hippie in '67; donate Panamas seriously and grow their hair long when all that was fucking fresh and cool.

A recurring theme in this season's menswear collections has been the return of boyhood dreams. The link made by Slimane with the work of Kramer revealingly tied it all together into the same thing. In the repertoire of high-hoicked, butt-clinching boot-cut pants and jeans, tiny bomber jackets, and all the minutely noticed retail throwbacks to the rock-aristocracy trend that he marched out on the Celine runway, he laid it all out for a new generation.

And the way he displayed it, Slimane made no compromises. In this case, a boy in a silver glitter three-piece suit, transported on a rolling throne of a thing, surmounted by disco lights, there was no variation on his long-established method of plunging his audience into darkness, the grand installation at the start.

Slimane's claim to market supremacy is fashion theme, rinsed and systematized as an affordable commodity, in this case aviators, pointy woven-leather Chelsea boots, and skinny ties. This system, his way or the highway, can seem emotionless. For his casting, it would also undoubtedly catch criticism; on what seemed to be an otherwise all-Caucasian runway, there were only three black models. In the '70s, the music scene never looked like that and today it definitely doesn't. The lack of diversity may be a safeguard for this Celine collection to talk as broadly as it could through the generation of today.

The collection checked several boxes, recording the proto-hippy moment when white kids started traveling, picking up peasant baskets and hanging out in North Africa. This season, the splendid gold-embroidered burnoose cape chimed in with many other collections at the finale. There is definitely resonance to taking up this age for a young generation that is certainly not born in happy times; Slimane's right about that. But the usual narrowness of his emphasis somehow skipped the multicultural way children see the world today.

In other news, David Koma Spring 2021 Ready-to-Wear: “Not being able to invite any guests,” he said, due to current COVID-19 rulings. “I would have loved to have staged a show there and invited 50 people to stay for dinner after,” he mused. “Maybe next time.”

Celine Men Spring-Summer 2020
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