70s Sublime at Celine

“Last night I had another dream about you / How many fucking dreams must I have about you?” a breathy Sofia Bolt (aka Amelie Rousseaux) demanded defiantly over and over on the soundtrack. A Paris-born, L.A.-based musician who merges classic French pop with West Coast psych, she couldn’t have been a more fitting persona for Hedi Slimane’s first mixed show following the decision to show menswear and womenswear together during the women’s collections. It made for a dreamy affirmation of his ongoing sartorial exploration of the new Celine man and woman, and one that lulled us into submission.

His muses could have been Mick Jagger and Anita Pallenberg in the 1968 film Performance. The film was too steamy for Warner Brothers, so they shelved it, bringing it out in 1970 to little fanfare; it disappeared again, destined to become a cult classic much later. One big hedonistic trip, it led to the dissolution of Jagger and Marianne Faithfull’s long-term relationship in 1970. Donald Camell’s script was one of the first to draw similarities between aristocrats, gangsters, and rockstars. This could also be said of Slimane’s men and women’s style. The cast easily ticked those three boxes in attitude, swagger, and sheer sex appeal.

The codes of the wardrobe were studied cool to perfection. The boys carried handbags to the envy of the girls, and the girls had mini-bags that looked like lipstick cases. Both sexes wore pussy bows and ruffles, as well as kick-flare blue jeans. Military detailing, brocade, silk blouses, velvet, and leather were in heavy rotation. Slimane took his hand to new levels with some of the dresses, in beautiful metallics, brocades, and simple cuff and collar embellishment. The looks were all unisex and interchangeable, though some pieces may best be performed by an aristocrat, gangster, or rockstar.

There was a surprise collaboration with the foundation of the late French artist César. Dubbed the Celine César Compression Project, it echoes the sculptor’s iconic compressions as limited-edition pendants, in silver or vermeil, that can be worn or displayed as art objects.

It was reassuring to see this joint symbiotic vision that Slimane has for the house. If, in our section of the show, the cries of admiration from the young Parisian style-set, so dutifully decked out in current-season Celine, are anything to go by, this will be more than successful.