For Hedi Slimane, location is everything. Over the years, his Celine shows have been staged at such landmarks as the Château de Chambord, the Hôtel National des Invalides, and Le Palace nightclub with each backdrop serving as a fitting complement to the mood of his latest offering. He continued the trend today with the video release of Celine’s summer 2024 women’s collection shot at the Bibliothèque Nationale Richelieu. If this were a live show, Slimane would be confronting the audience with a choice—will you admire the setting in all its glory, or the clothes placed within it? The debut of a recorded presentation allowed the creative director to place all the focus on his collection, admiring the beauty of the setting, but keeping the camera steady the longest on the models as they stomped through the library in their chunky lace-up and faux shearling boots.
But before we can get to the clothes, Slimane, who directed the video himself, takes a moment to explore the setting. He zooms in on the wood carvings, the spiraling staircase, a large grandfather clock ticking down to the start of the show. The takeover of the space becomes immediately apparent as the camera focuses on ceiling glass carved with the house’s logo, and books replaced with those embossed with the Celine Triomphe emblem. “Too Much Love” by LCD Soundsystem— a special extended version of the 2005 song made specifically for Slimane—provides the soundtrack as the first model dressed in a cheetah-print denim miniskirt see breaks up the serenity of the beautiful Labrouste Reading Room.
Titled “Tomboy,” the summer 2024 collection is an ode to Slimane’s dedication to androgynous style, an aesthetic he’s been championing since the beginning of his career in the ’90s. He states that the first and last looks (the cheetah set and a sharp, classic suit) are specific nods to this idea, but the theme is alive throughout the collection, combined with the early ’00s style also associated with Slimane’s brand. Cutoff jean shorts are paired with combat boots, matching tracksuits feature both mini shorts and lounge-worthy pants, and party dresses are topped with oversized jackets. Among the many covetable accessories are headphones embossed with the Celine Triomphe logo (made in collaboration with audio brand Master & Dynamic) as well as chain-strapped Victoire bags.
If the lingerie-inspired tops tucked into leather pants and ab-baring low-rise jeans don’t exactly match the grandeur of the bibliothèque, the couture most offerings certainly do. Slinky dresses rendered in sequins are elegant but still easily encapsulated by the Noughties era thanks to their shapeless form. While the ready-to-wear models recall students hoping to get in a quick study session before they meet up with friends on Rue Saint-Honoré, those clad in gowns are reminiscent of guests at gala night, exploring the library in all its glory, easy to be mistaken as another adornment in a space filled with them.
While normally, Slimane likes to throw a big name into his shows—an appearance from Kaia Gerber or perhaps Blackpink’s Lisa—this season the stars aren’t walking the runway, but modeling elsewhere. Cut within quick shots throughout the video are house muses singer Stella Rose Gahan, daughter of Depeche Mode frontman Dave Gahan, and Esther-Rose McGregor, actor and daughter of Scottish star Ewan McGregor. While they’re featured players now, there’s every reason to believe they might one day pop up on the runway as well. See the full presentation below: