Spring 2021 Menswear
Pictures by Celine


Hedi Slimane Sends Out the Mating Call to Youth Culture

Hedi Slimane had conceptualized his Celine Menswear’s Spring 2021 collection before the world went into lockdown in March, fueled by the ever-growing popularity of the Tik Tok app and the untapped overflow of youth and voyeurism running rampantly across its platforms. Slimane had previously dipped his toes into frenzied Tik Tok territory by signing one of its many doe-eyed male stars to front last year’s Celine campaign, but when the quarantine arrived, Tik Tok fever reached new heights, and Slimane was poised and ready to capitalize on this new culture.

The collection is titled “The Dancing Kid”, an homage to the troves of bored youth stuck at home, dancing for the internet’s amusement. A lengthy 15-minute version of 22-year-old rapper Tiagz’s Tik Tok famous song “They Call Me Tiago (Her Name Was Margo)” was commissioned and set the beat for models to slide and slouch down the paved runway of the deserted Circuit Paul Ricard race track in the South of France, while an audience of drones circled and dove to capture the show, which was, of course, streamed live on Tik Tok and other sites.

Slimane put forth a collection of diverse inspiration from E-boys and skate culture, punctuated with 90’s grunge, androgyny, and a few staple Slimane cut suits, albeit slightly looser than we have seen in the past. The pattern heavy collection featured tiger print, plaid, 80’s windbreaker motifs out of a Florida souvenir shop, and a camouflage print stoner poncho. Accessories were also prevalent with the majority of models capped in a bucket or baseball hat, helmet, or beanie, while delicate Celine embossed bags were slung across chests.

There is a direct dichotomy between the intentional carelessness of this collection and Slimane’s fascination with Tik Tok culture, and it directly addresses the power of youth and the wealth that is being amassed by Gen Z. In the ’90s, Nirvana epitomized effortlessly cool style on a budget. Teens were scouring thrift stores and their grandfather’s closets for old T-Shirts and flannels, and although the style may have remained cool, as is evident by Slimane’s latest showing, the budgets of today’s youth are swelling, as is their thirst for luxury labels.

Written by Elizabeth Kramsky


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