Celine’s Indie Tribute Act in L.A.

Hedi Slimane returns to his part-time home with a collection harking back to the early aughts




From Dior Men’s takeover of the Venice Beach boardwalk to Ralph Lauren’s starry show at the Huntington Art Gallery near Pasadena to last year’s Gucci extravaganza on Hollywood Boulevard, it’s official: the fashion world is obsessed with Los Angeles.



And last week, the luxury brand that epitomizes Parisian chic meets Los Angeles cool closed out the year with one more, at The Wiltern Theater on Wilshire. Celine’s show, however, was no mere catwalk strut but a full-on concert featuring a clutch of rock royalty from the early aughts and before: Iggy Pop, The Strokes and Interpol. Suddenly that girl on the posters lining Sunset Boulevard upon the buildup to the show made total sense—she was rocking out, dancing her heart out.

This should come as no surprise. Hedi Slimane, the brand’s creative director, has always taken inspiration from guitar bands and the scenes that reverberate around them. Not only that, but he’s an off-and-on-again Angeleno himself. Both those things—L.A. and its music scene—have long been touchstones of his design work.



Those inspirations were all over the fashion show last Thursday, especially in the skinny leather pants, the mid-shin boots, the sparkling, slim, rock-and-roll tailoring, and the sexy cut-out dresses that closed the show. The whole collection had a Paris-via-L.A. feel to it, a pitch-perfect mix of grit and glamor, shown to a front row so starry you needed sunglasses to look a it—Kim Gordon, Paris Hilton, Priscilla Presley, Austin Butler, Brie Larson, Dustin Hoffman, Cindy Crawford, Kid Cudi, Miles Teller and on and on and on.

Slimane, it should be noted, has a longer and deeper connection to Los Angeles than most. He frequented the city in the 1990s and, starting in 2008, became a part-time resident before later decamping. But more than just a place of residence, what’s notable is the way that L.A.—or at least a certain idea of it—has influenced Slimane’s visual language: the rockstar leathers, the skinny jeans, the louche tailoring and the sexy red-carpet gowns. And wherever Slimane sets his gaze, others will, no doubt, follow suit.

After the runway show, there was a brief intermission when hamburgers, tacos, popcorn and french fries made the rounds and free drinks flowed. Carnival-style carts served up ice cream and cotton candy. The crowd, already buoyant from the fabulous show, started to loosen up. Laughter and chatter filled the lobby until all were invited back into the theater for part two.







Rock legend Iggy Pop kicked things off with his signature stage prancing and flailing, rasping his songs and egging on the crowd in between. The Strokes played a set of some of their best-known songs, a bit of nostalgia that got the audience so riled up they charged the stage, erasing the line between performers and spectators. Interpol then took the stage, playing a short set to the cheering crowd.

If Slimane was out to recreate the glittering decadence of the indie era before social media made it a thing of the past, then he succeeded and then some.


December 14, 2022.

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