It’s fitting that Hedi Slimane would choose France’s Château de Chambord as the setting for his latest Celine fashion film-as-runway-presentation “Teen Knight Poem.” Technically never completed, the imposing castle is a unique blend of classic medieval architecture and the then-emerging Renaissance style. It was commissioned by a French king but designed by Italians (Leonardo Di Vinci himself has long been speculated to have had some measure of input on the design). While it looks impenetrable, it was never actually designed with defense in mind. Francis I had commissioned it solely as an example of his own power. Like Slimane’s work, its influences may be apparent but it remains unmoored from any one style or period and stands alone as an impressive flex.
The film itself, directed by Slimane, feels something like if Game of Thrones and Euphoria got cross-spliced in the HBO Max app with Timothée Chalamet thrown into the cast. Slimane’s models are always princely, but for this fall 2021 collection, he imagines them as young knights storming the castle. The recurring appearance of chains made from oversized silver links serves as both an elevation of a very current trend and a nod to actual armor. Ruffled collars continue the medieval theme, but there’s more than enough decidedly of the present: there’s hoodies, bomber jackets, Slimane’s always crisply tailored suiting, and Celine logos worn like a battle crest.
The models all march to a sparse, war-like track titled “Time Slip” written and produced by Slimane’s frequent collaborators George and Jack Barnett. With every last look making its way around the castle, the boys then gather to head out to battle into the night. Against what remains unclear, but they’ll certainly look fantastic doing it.