When Hedi Slimane took the creative helm of Celine in 2018, he looked back to the bourgeois tropes of the Parisian maison, with insouciant shapes like culottes, demure dresses, peacoats and tailoring which celebrated Left Bank luxury. If A/W 2020 was about the elegant 1960s-inclined Parisienne, then S/S 2021 is all about the rebellious swag of her Gen-Z little sister.

For the spring show, Slimane transported online viewers to the enormous empty Stade Louis II stadium in Monaco, where panoramic drone camera sweeps showed off its arch-lined facade, rows of yellow seating, pristinely cut grass, and ‘Celine’ painted maroon tarmac. Models strode to the discordant electronic beats of ‘I Like Him’ by Princess Nokia, sporting casually styled, layered silhouettes, that spoke to the off duty outfits of Gen Z models, like cagoules paired with fluffy slippers and jeans, tea dresses and mohair cardigans sported with Chelsea boots and sweat shorts and Celine logo sports bras thrown over with a blazer.

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Celine S/S 2021

The collection reflected the sporty, laid back tropes that have dominated for S/S 2021, in the wake of the dressing restrictions of Covid-19. Just as Chanel pared back its boucle blazers with oversized denim, No 21 incorporated basketball shorts into its evening wear lexicon and Prada paired typography-emblazoned hoodies with pleated skirts, so Slimane styled boucle blazers with hoodies and crop tops and sequin dresses and ruffled minis with high tops. Looks were styled with bucket hats and athletic ‘C’ logo caps, the preferred incognito headwear of choice for Kaia Gerber, who walked exclusively on the catwalk. 
 
For Celine’s S/S 2021 men’s show back in July, Slimane transported guests to the Circuit Paul Ricard motor racing track in the South of France, where models sported grungy layered looks, including tiger print jackets, camo ponchos and distressed denim. Slimane has long tapped into youth culture, and spring sees a new celebration of the stylistic tropes that define Gen Z, where the looks sported on TikTok challenges have become as impacting as those on the catwalk. §