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.


First Saudi woman to singlehandedly nab a Guinness World Record revealed

Artist Ohud Abdullah Almalki has become the first Saudi woman to achieve a Guinness World Record title singlehandedly with her coffee painting. (Supplied)
Updated 18 October 2020

First Saudi woman to singlehandedly nab a Guinness World Record revealed

DUBAI: Artist Ohud Abdullah Almalki has become the first Saudi woman to achieve a Guinness World Record title singlehandedly with her impressive feat — the largest coffee painting in the world using expired granules, illustrating seven leading figures of Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

This painting is called Naseej 1, and it is spread over 220.968 square meters, 15.84 meters long, and 13.95 meters wide. It is made out of seven connected cotton cloths.

Almalki used approximately 4.5 kg of expired coffee powder and painted all the figures in hues of brown, mixing the coffee powder with water. The edges are done in the “Sadu” style that is a traditional Bedouin decoration style.

“It took me 45 days of continuous work to complete, under the watchful eyes of two witnesses, video recording and drone footage,” Almalki said, according to a press release. “My aim is to remind the world of the centuries-old entente between the two nations.”

The impressive painting features the late King Abdulaziz bin Abdul Rahman and the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al-Nahyan, as well as King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al-Nahyan Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud.

“This tremendous feat would have been impossible without the support of the people around me. I wish this will contribute to empowering the women in Saudi Arabia and beyond,” the artist added.