Celine just threw the curtain back on its fall 2023 show, becoming one of the first luxury fashion labels to present for the upcoming season. Staged in L.A., creative director Hedi Slimane dedicated the collection to the fanfare, nostalgia, and intimacy of the early 2000s indie scene. “It’s probably time to go back to analog mode, and get the filtered, ostracizing, theatricality of social media in perspective. A return to a sense of blunt and raw sincerity,” he said of the time period. Here, all the major moments to know from the show.
The Collection Celebrated All Things Indie…and L.A.
Groupies, rockers, It girls, and preps came together under the lit-up Celine logo on the runway. These archetypes were characterized by chunky shearling jackets and shimmering sequined dresses embroidered by hand, which shone in the light. Models wore loose-hanging ties, black combat boots, leather bomber jackets with slouchy bags hanging from the crook of their elbows. It was perfectly Gossip Girl 1.0—exactly the kind of thing Serena van der Woodsen would have worn. The way the models held the bags—in the crooks of their elbows, as they shaded their faces with dark black sunglasses—spoke volumes about the nostalgia of early 2000s style and the onset of the It bag. Dark Euro prep manifested itself through military-style buttoned jackets, blue jeans, long trench coats, and sequined tailored jackets; for men, extremely slim cut suits—a Slimane house code at this point. Lush, wine-red velvet dresses, patent leather trousers, frilly white blouses, leopard blazers, gilded metallic suits, and a skinny tuxedo fed into the constant London rock vibes that Slimane has cemented since he took the reins of the brand in 2018.
Given the return of indie sleaze and the onset of early aughts style was the talk of the town this year (its return heralded and led by the popular, eponymous Instagram account) such a concept felt fitting—and perfectly Celine by Slimane. Those years were also unfortunately marked by a stunning lack of body diversity. It was hard not to notice the same cues in this show, with 87 co-gendered looks and not a single model (all casted by Slimane himself) that wasn’t noticeably very skinny. “It is quite exciting to see this transmission happening and to engage with this new age of indieness,” added Slimane on the topic of indie sleaze. “There is also a sense of permanence and repetition, quoting yourself stubbornly, looking twenty years back, accepting it still defines you, embracing the raw and new classicism of it all.”
As for the location, the brand hosted the show at The Wiltern Theater, a landmark built in 1931, with its instantly recognizable blue-green terra-cotta complex and art deco concrete façade. The venue has served as a home to performers ranging from Prince and James Brown to Bob Dylan, Nina Simone and Patti Smith.
A Specific Book and Documentary Served as Inspiration
Slimane was heavily inspired by Lizzy Goodman’s work; author of Meet Me in the Bathroom, an oral history of the rock music scene in New York between 2001-2011. Slimane photographed so many bands of the era, dressed so many musicians from that time period, and attended so many of those shows, that it felt like a natural fit. “Stagewear was my introduction to men’s fashion, through album covers,” said Slimane in conversation with Goodman. “My first record, besides Fairy Tales, was [David Bowie’s] David Live in Philadelphia 1974. I probably contemplated that cover and listened to that record a million times. The proportions, glamour, and androgynous exuberance of the clothes had a strong influence on me. Beside Bowie album covers, and the Elvis 68 double leather number (The ’68 Comeback Special), the Ossie Clark bodysuits for Jagger were also expanding the contours of what men’s fashion could be. I would never have had any particular attraction to fashion itself if it was not for stagewear.”
Many of the silhouettes were, in fact, inspired by the nostalgia of the stagewear Slimane created in the past: “Mick [Jagger] came to Dior early on, before Bowie. Something like early 2001,” he added. “He wanted a few color versions of a fringe coat I had made, as well as skinny satin pants and shirts in emerald green and purple. It was interesting to think technically and cut the clothes differently. Mick needed to move a lot on stage and we therefore had to adapt them for him specifically. Fittings with him were extremely amusing. Mick would always try his dance routine in front of the atelier mirror to see if the clothes responded well.”
Kaia Gerber and Dree Hemingway Walked
Naturally, the show was full of the star-studded types that fit Slimane’s aesthetic. Namely, Kaia Gerber in a nude glimmering cut-out dress. 2000s It girl herself Dree Hemingway also walked the runway.
The Front Row Dazzled
It wouldn’t be a show in L.A. without an equally standout front row. Cindy Crawford, Courteney Cox, Brie Larson, and Emma Roberts were all there. Paris Hilton, Emma Chamberlain, Doja Cat, Kid Cudi, Tumblr indie sleaze icon Sky Ferreira, and legends like Kim Gordon were also present.
The Show Turned Into a Performance
True to Slimane’s aesthetic, the show indulged in all things gritty and rock and roll. The presentation itself was set to an original soundtrack titled “Hello Operator” performed by The White Stripes—continuing the theme of rewinding back to that era, along with The Libertines’ Music When the Lights Go Out, which was used in Celine’s recent film project, La Collection de Saint-Tropez. Immediately after the runway walks stopped, the iconic Iggy Pop took to the stage for a signature (shirtless) concert. Given the show was centered on the concept of indie and Slimane’s intrinsic connection with the nostalgia music scene of the early and mid 2000s, the bands that followed were deeply connected to the designer: The Strokes, Interpol, and The Kills also performed.