Hedi Slimane returns to teenage haunt Le Palace for latest Celine menswear show

Parisian nightspot Le Palace – housed in a former 17th-century theater – has long been a hedonistic haven for the international Beautiful world since its inception as a nightclub by impresario Fabrice Emaer in 1978. In the years that followed, a host of regulars came from the world of fashion and celebrity; among them Yves Saint Laurent, Grace Jones, Karl Lagerfeld, Andy Warhol and Jerry Hall mingling casually with Parisian partygoers dressed in exuberant turn-of-the-1980s attire. Such was its reputation that it was considered Parisian Studio 54.

It was also a meeting point for teenager Hedi Slimane, French designer and Celine’s creative director, who returned to Le Palace last night (10 February 2023) to show his F/W 2023 men’s collection for the house. A note sent ahead of the event said he attended the club “most nights of his youth from the age of 16” and that it held a special sentimental value for the designer, whose work was often marked by the rebellious spirit of his Employment at Dior Homme, Saint Laurent and currently at Celine. Nights at Le Palace were so formative for Slimane that he celebrated his 50th birthday there in 2018 with a surprise party. ‘[Le Palace] sparked his future as a couturier,” the collection notes read.

Celine Homme A/W 2023 at Le Palace, Paris

Man on the Celine runway in a studded biker jacket and leather pants

(Image credit: Courtesy of Celine)

The show itself was titled “Paris Syndrome” — a reference to the disorder that occurs in visitors to Paris when they realize the city isn’t what they expected, leading to delusions and hallucinations — and the Soundtrack by Suicide, the seminal 1970s New York electronic band hosted by Alan Vega (the late musician’s artwork was also featured throughout the collection). At punk nightclub CBGB, Vega and Martin Rev – the band’s instrumentalist, who created an original composition for the show here – became famous for their live performances, which often broke out in riots (The guard has reported Suicide’s “vicious ambience”. [and] pulsating electronics,” that the crowd was “unable to process the sounds they heard”). “Everyone came to see Suicide to be entertained,” Vega is quoted as saying in the collection notes. “And everything what we did was give them back the road in all its glory.”

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The latter statement equally fits Slimane’s own approach, which draws heavily on archetypal garments – the leather jacket, the jeans, the slim new wave suit – which is reflected on the catwalk in the designer’s unique style. Here he has traced a connection from the 1970s to the 2000s, the latter a time when Slimane first rose to prominence at Dior Homme and a time from which his recent indie-inspired collections for Celine stem (his women’s collection F /S2023). , presented last November, envisioned an “indie summer,” a “renaissance of [his] ’00s-era’ and was backed by ’00s indie band The Libertines). “Hedi Slimane addresses today’s youth’s rediscovery of the electro clash and electronic rock sounds and scenes of the 2000s,” Celine said of yesterday’s collection.

Man on the Celine runway in a furry animal print coat and dark glasses

(Image credit: Courtesy of Celine)

Central to this vibe, Slimane says, was a series of “double leather” looks that paired biker and racer jackets with black leather pants in the sleek silhouette the designer is known for. A multitude of studs and rhinestones appeared throughout, while other embellishments — a beaded trompe l’oeil bow on the jacket, animal-print stripes, shimmering tassels — evoke the louche carefreeness of Le Palace party-goers in its 1970s heyday remembered (as well as Slimane’s trademark dark sunglasses, which appeared on almost every model). Celine’s synonym of luxury and craftsmanship was channeled into oversized outerwear, cut from cashmere or English tweed and crafted on traditional looms, while embroidery was done by hand in the house’s couture atelier. This season’s tailoring featured slightly elevated proportions with slightly flared trousers cropped at the ankle.

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