Hedi Slimane visited the Château de Chambord as an adolescent and fell in love with the famous Loire Valley castle, prized for its blend of medieval and Renaissance architecture.
He’s clearly still in thrall with its white stone, bastion towers and spired roof scape. The drone cameras in his fall 2021 men’s collection film swooped and circled in dizzying fashion around the chateau’s cupolas, chimneys and balconies, around which the models strode heroically.
“Armored silhouettes, squires and chivalry,” the press notes trumpeted, citing silhouettes, colors and embroideries that wink to 16th-century court and ceremonial dress. From the flag-carrying cavaliers who opened the display to the insistent military drumming, Slimane summoned an atmosphere of romantic pageantry.
Chainmail embroideries and ruffles at the neck brought the mood into the clothes, a freewheeling mix of London gentlemen, skater kids, rocker dudes, après-ski and luxury branding.
Knit beanies in the style of medieval helmets are internet memes in the making — ditto the Sasquatch boots and the gleaming silver puffer jacket.
Yet here was one of Slimane’s most approachable proposals yet for Celine, full of voluptuous and striking leather blousons, handsome topcoats, elongated biker jackets and beefy shearlings, layered up with denim, leather vests and hoodies. He struck a fine balance between rugged chic, streetwise cool and classic elegance.
The press notes cited accents of the 1990s, and the Cold Wave and Goth movements, yet the vintage feeling inherent in many Slimane collections was less present here — all the better for it.
The designer unveiled his fall effort 15 days after Men’s Fashion Week in Paris, and also provided only seven “reveal images” on Monday, which are from a campaign that will be released in September. These moody portraits don’t tell the whole story of this fine collection, but that’s how Slimane operates.