The Dark Odyssey of Celine’s F/W 21 Menswear

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An ode to ‚Teen Knight Poem‘

Celine menswear collections by Hedi Slimane are always highly anticipated by our editorial team. It should come as no surprise that we choose to collectively delight and pas along some thoughts on our favorite looks. 

The Fall 2021 collection of the French luxury house is entitled „Teen Knight Poem“ and took place in the Gothic masterpiece that is the Château de Chambord a very à propos location in the center region of France, for this medieval-inspired collection.

The show opens on a young model waving a Celine flag on a prancing dark stallion, setting the tone of this romantic yet military-infused streetwear showcasing. Shortly after, a flow of models vividly walk along the foothills of the Chambord edifice, while a French military march is played by drums, each and every footstep marching in rhythm.

The fashion is dark, formal, yet it is extremely modern. New gothic. Strong, romantic, architectural, peculiar. The dark aesthetic is a direct reinterpretation of the current ambiance: the youth is revolutionary and vindicated, and it shows through their fashion. Hedi Slimane understands very well the strength and power of his younger audience, and after paying homage to them during his last show „The Dancing Kid“ he now gives them a power wardrobe, adorned in mesh ribs and technical military cuts.

The leather jackets and vests have no collars, leaving to wearers the liberty to layer a shirt underneath -for a more formal use- or the hood of a sweater in a more casual street style, demonstrating all the versatility of Slimane’s designs. The men-skirt worn on top of jeans- a signature Celine styling- also made a come-back this season, this time in a longer version, suited for the cold of winter. The medieval elements of this collection, as seen in the metal pants and the helmets, could have resulted in a cold and hermetic collection, but they are smartly balanced by extremely romantic ruffled collars and coats. The floor-length wool capes are the it-pieces of this collection: both chivalrous and bourgeois, feminine and masculine. Streetwear royalty.

The color palette is very sober. It includes varying nuance of grays and beiges, with strong metallic details thanks to studs and heavy chain jewelery. The checkerboard print is also included, recurrent of Slimane’s inspiration taken by rockers and skater-boys, is also refreshed here, reminiscent of the marble flooring of the Chambord castle. The historical hints are accurate. This nod to the Renaissance brings a supplementary depth to the collection. The couture is found in the details. There are materials such as fur and matte leathers, used to elevate the coats and boots, adding a royal edge to the garments. While Slimane chooses to continue using real fur, we feel that high quality faux-fur should be used instead of real skin in the rising of 2021.

I myself am quite uninterested in any type of military-inspired fashion, yet Hedi Slimane surprised me as he always does, and captivated me throughout the entirety of this collection. I must praise him. My only hesitation is the appearance of late logo-mania, not necessary for such elevated garments. This show, however, has me making myself fully available to serve in the Celine army and spend time running through castle corridors wearing a maxi-cape. From the general ambiance of the setting and soundtrack, to the fashion collection and the models who wear it, this show is definitely worth a watch.

Text by Marien Brandon
Images courtesy of Celine

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