Tough crowd on TikTok. Celine is new to the platform, with about 5,000 followers, and livestreamed its spring men’s wear show, a slick production with models hoofing it around an old motor-racing track near Marseille, some wearing sparkly helmets. It started late, with an on-screen reader board sign broadcasting a 10-minute countdown. “What is this?” and “I’m so confused” were the most common refrains.
The loud, casual and logo-heavy collection Hedi Slimane paraded seemed aimed squarely at Gen Z, no matter if some users of the app don’t seem to have a clue that Celine is a luxury French fashion brand and that Slimane is known for commissioning a single track of music and stretching it over 15 minutes. “Change the song,” countless TikTokers urged as the number of viewers quickly thinned out.
Celine recently tapped doe-eyed teen TikToker Noen Eubanks for a fashion campaign, and teaser clips for the online show included Chase Hudson, a controversial figure on social media for his unconvincing apology after making a racial slur.
But Millennials and Gen Zs are the first customers after the coronavirus lockdown to gobble up luxury goods, according to Kering, which, along with Celine parent LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, released second-quarter results this week.
And so Slimane, after flirting briefly with bourgeois Paris in the Seventies, went back to elevated California thrift-shop chic, throwing together trucker and beanie hats, plaid shirts, Eighties-sitcom windbreakers, gym shorts and loose jeans with blown-out knees.
In the press notes, Slimane said he wanted to celebrate e-boys — right down to the unkempt nail polish and two-tone hair — plus current skate culture. He titled the collection “The Dancing Kid” to reference the confinement phenomenon of bored youth jabbing their joints for views and likes. (Curiously, Loewe designer Jonathan Anderson also had young men in tie-dye sweaters busting moves on Instagram this week.)
For those with a little more patience and fashion chops, there was a lot to catch the eye in this lively collection — at times earthy, at times flashy and occasionally confounding (3-D clown sweater, anyone?). Drone-mounted cameras zoomed around familiar Slimane-isms: neat varsity jackets and bombers, meaty perfectos with zip-off sleeves, opulent dinner jackets in animal prints and even a few pin-striped suits with an appealing, looser cut.
Gosh knows the price tags of his patchwork or hand-embroidered leather jackets, the jogging pants flecked with mirrors, or the rustic ponchos and hoodies. Yet there were plenty of logoed T-shirts and trinkets — small shoulder bags, chain necklaces, Celine Z trainers dropping in November — that could tempt those with smaller budgets and in need of something cool to wear for their next clip.