After outcry, Hedi Slimane U-turns on the Celine catwalk

Hedi Slimane showed off his Fall/Winter 2019/2020 collection. AFP
Updated 02 March 2019

After outcry, Hedi Slimane U-turns on the Celine catwalk

PARIS: Head designer Hedi Slimane turned his back on black Friday in one of the biggest about-turns in years on the Paris catwalk, as French-Algerian actress Leila Bekhti enjoyed a coveted front row seat at the show.

The actress wore a suave menswear suit to the show, complete with a skinny black tie and loafers. 

The superstar French designer, who is of Tunisian descent and is famed for his love of black, was dubbed the “Trump of fashion” after trashing the legacy of his much-loved feminist predecessor at Celine, Phoebe Philo, in his first women’s show for the brand in Octobe, AFP reported.

Rather than the too-cool-for-school night owls of his “Paris at night” debut, Slimane went all bourgeois as he tried to double back toward Celine’s more romantic roots.

His new cool gang are a glammy 1980s horsey set, with pleated riding skirts in earthy browns, greens and taupes worn with long shiny boots.

But the really big takeaway was the comeback of the culotte, with a whole cavalry charge of them galloping down the catwalk.

Surprising as that was, no one had predicted the return of silky pussy bow blouses worn under sensible coats and cardigans.

The man they once called the “Sultan of skinny” even got a few frilly blouses in too. All that was lacking was the pearls.

This embrace of romantic, comfortable country glamor, of the type that Hermes and others do rather well, left critics scratching their heads, with the New York Times’ Vanessa Friedman asking, “(The) joke’s on who?“

But for the fact that every model wore black sunglasses, it hardly looked like a Slimane show.

It also seemed strangely at odds with Slimane’s first media campaign for the house, which he released this week, featuring 17-year-old British model Hannah Motler.

Shot by Slimane itself, it was full of the dark rock ‘n’ roll glamor he is famous for.

Friedman, however, had no doubt that the oxblood shearling-edged thigh-high boots that Slimane teamed with jeans and camel coats and capes in the show were a winner.

“Betcha Celine is going to sell a lot of these boots,” she tweeted.

While there was some slight nods to the Philo’s legion of grieving followers — who have made her past Celine collections collector’s items — Slimane leapfrogged over her minimalism to go deep into the brand’s archives in search of inspiration.

His slash and burn attitude to the brand — getting rid of the French accent on its logo, calling his first show “Celine 01” as if the 70 years before his arrival at the label had not existed, and erasing Philo’s clothes from the label’s Instagram account, irritated many.

His first collection took an unprecedented kicking from English-speaking critics in particular, with social media spats between his defenders — the Slimaniacs — and Philo supporters, the Philophiles.

Slimane — who has a record of turning labels into cash cows — has form in ruffling feathers. He dropped the Yves from Saint Laurent when he took over at the iconic house in 2012.

Halloween treat: Meet the founder of Saudi Arabia’s go-to costume shop

Updated 26 October 2020

Halloween treat: Meet the founder of Saudi Arabia’s go-to costume shop

DUBAI: It is spooky season and Saudi entrepreneur Filwa Al-Hejailan, founder of Kingdom of Costumes, “the first online costume shop in Saudi Arabia,” is getting ready for the festivities. 

When speaking to Arab News, the entrepreneur said that the idea of Kingdom of Costumes came to her in 2013 when she was planning her sister’s 30th Alice in Wonderland-themed birthday party. 

“I found that there was a gap in the market. I realized we didn’t have enough costumes in Riyadh. So, I had to order them all from Amazon UK and US, and it was a stressful and nerve-wrecking process as they weren’t guaranteed to reach us in time,” Al-Hejailan told Arab News. 


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“When I searched the market, I also realized there weren’t any online costume shops in all of GCC except one in the UAE which sold mostly children’s costumes and hardly had a selection of adult costumes,” she added. 

Al-Hejailan launched her website, which sells outfits for children and adults, on her own in October 2013. Now, seven years later, she has a team of five employees — all women.

“I saw that women can do everything that is required,” she said. 


All sizes available!! جميع المقاسات متوفرة

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Kingdom of Costumes, which has now become the local supplier of party garments for Amazon Saudi Arabia, also sells wigs, masks, large angel wings, swimming mermaid tails, cinematic contact lenses, special effects makeup and other accessories.

For this season, Al-Hejailan said angel wings, contact lenses and costumes for Netflix’s “La Casa De Papel” series are the most ordered.   

The business might sound fun to many, but Al-Hejailan said it comes with a lot of challenges that got her thinking of quitting multiple times. 

“The biggest challenge I faced is shipping-related issues, such as cash on delivery and dealing with delays in shipping and customs which have negatively affected the time-sensitive nature of the business,” she said. “I noticed people are in a habit of buying costumes last minute. I’ve been through extremely nerve-wrecking moments for both myself and customers. 

“To be honest, I did consider quitting a few times because of the pressure, but then when I saw how much some customers – such as moms – appreciated and needed Kingdom of Costumes for their children, and how much joy it brought to children, teens and also adults, such rewarding feeling has encouraged me to keep going,” added Al-Hejailan. 

Even though the peak of the business is during Halloween, Al-Hejailan does not consider this a “seasonal business.” 

“It actually operates all year round and caters to many school events, birthdays and other events that are not related to Halloween,” she said.  

Besides Kingdom of Costumes, the entrepreneur also has a home baking business, which she started during the pandemic. She has a culinary degree from Paris’ Le Cordon Bleu.