Paris: What’s Missing ?

While there’s been plenty to keep us guessing and gossiping at the shows this season, Paris came with a few gaps among its schedule. No Mugler or Courrèges – both of whom have recently lost and gained new creative directors – and an interim design team offering at Céline while we wait with huge anticipation to see what Hedi Slimane does when he reveals his wares – or rather world, vision, manifesto – in September.

CÉLINE SS18 show in Paris. Photo by Valerio Mezzanotti for NOWFASHION.

For the former two houses, they join a growing list of heritage names who injected new blood a couple of years ago: Courrèges was greeted with great industry encouragement and David Koma at Mugler was doing the perfect job. But that didn’t stop the revolving doors from swinging.

Is it perhaps that while we can easily judge and critique how good or not something is in the confines of fashion (compared to what it’s meant to be ie. an homage to the original or an update or the appropriate translation of house codes), that it really doesn’t matter outside of that? Perhaps that’s too sweeping a thing to say. But why all the revolving doors and the installment of unknown names among those who were supposedly doing well and supposedly buzzed about? Fashion, it can well be a poisoned chalice.

That’s something Hedi doesn’t much care about and is frankly all the better for. His non-believers during the Saint Laurent days soon came round. In his new role at Céline, his official title is that of artistic, creative, and image director and he will introduce menswear as well as add and develop new categories. So with this in mind and the interim offering, it feels perhaps redundant to make too much of a comment on it – only that while it might feel like the house has momentarily stopped in the world of the fashion industry, it clearly hasn’t when it comes to the shop floor and the need to sell products. Because one can’t put a “Back in September” sign up in the window.

SAINT LAURENT SS16 menswear show in Paris. Photo by Regis Colin Berthelier for NOWFASHION.

For those Phoebe Philo fans mourning her departure – which we should point out was so perfectly Phoebe in that she never had a last show that anyone got to know about, so no fuss and no circus – this last collection is a hangover of her aesthetic. It’s nothing more and nothing less than it should be. Awkward shoe shapes are still there among intelligently angled coats and tailoring, some twisted and draped dresses. The jewellery, particularly, is worth a note. But it felt odd walking around a half empty room of a collection – but that’s because we know the life has left and another is on the way. And that’s where all the words will be used for reporting. You wait.


See CÉLINE's full FW18 collection here.