Hedi Slimane’s First Celine Collection

Yesterday, fashion’s second most anticipated show took place, Hedi Slimane’s debut for Céline. Ups, first mistake. He took the «accent aigu» (acute accent) away and Céline is now Celine. The looks, personally speaking, were very much Saint Laurent at his time, as if he just continued where he left off. For me absolutely boring.

The Celine S/S 2019 show invite

I loved when he started at Saint Laurent and went crazy for his looks. But after some seasons, I had enough in my closet of his rock’n roll chic. Of course, the collection for Celine is good, very ’80s and sexy. It is also ok to stay to true to yourself. But as a designer, I find it important to go with time and to value a brand’s heritage. Hedi just repeated what he did for Dior and Saint Laurent. Instead of taking the Yves away, he went for the accent aigu. Instead of applying his aesthetics to the French Maison in a new creative way, he just did copy and paste. Boring.

Copy and paste

To be honest, for LVMH it would have been the smartest move to give Hedi Slimane his own label.

ABOUT CÉLINE

Céline was founded in 1945 by Céline Vipiana and her husband, Richard, as one of the first luxury brands in the industry to make a made-to-measure children’s shoe business. The couple opened a first boutique at 52 rue Malte in Paris. The brand was recognised by its logo, the red elephant created by Raymont Peynet.

Céline Vipiana

In 1960, the brand decided to change its positioning by focusing its business on a ready-to-wear fashion brand for women with a sportswear approach. Henceforth, the brand offered a range of leather goods such as bags, loafers, gloves and clothes. The trench became the iconic product of the house. In 1973, Céline, who remained at the helmet until 1997, redesigned its logo with the intertwined “C” Sulky canvas, linked to the Arc-de-Triomphe, which appeared as a symbol for Parisians. At that time, Céline began its expansion in the world with the opening of various boutiques in Monte Carlo, Geneva, Hong Kong, Lausanne, Toronto and Beverly Hills.


In 1987, Bernard Arnault decided to buy into Céline’s capital. However, it was only in 1996 that the brand was integrated into the LVMH group for 2.7 billion French francs ($540 million). LVMH propelled the brand to fame with the opening of a boutique at 36 avenue Montaigne in Paris.
American fashion designer Michael Kors was named the first ever women’s ready-to-wear designer and creative director for Céline in 1997. During his tenure at Céline, Kors brought modern femininity with a luxurious spirit. In 2004, he left the fashion luxury house to focus his career on his own brand. In 2005, Italian designer Roberto Menichetti was named creative director. A year later, Croatian designer Ivana Omazic directed the design studio. Omazic was a former consultant for the brand and previously worked with Romeo Gigli, Prada, Jil Sander and Miu Miu. Omazic designed for Céline until 2008, after further disappointments for the brand.

Phoebe Philo’s Céline changed your wardrobe (even if you didn’t realise it)…  she managed to predict what you want six months before you know you do.

On September 4, 2008, the fashion portal Women’s Wear Daily announced that Bernard Arnault, president of LVMH, had appointed Phoebe Philo as the new creative director of Céline. Her tenure began in October 2008, and she presented her first ready-to-wear collection for S/S 2010 at Paris Fashion Week. Pierre-Yves Roussel, chief executive officer of LVMH’s fashion division, said that recruiting Philo was giving her the opportunity to express her vision. Philo brought a new touch to the brand creating functional clothes with a focus on materials and tailoring. In 2009, Vogue Magazine defined her style as the “cool minimal trend”. Philo studied at Central Saint Martins School of Art and Design in London. Prior to Céline, Philo held the position of Design Director at Chloé. In 2010, she received the Designer of the Year award from British Fashion Council. In 2011, she was awarded International Designer of the Year by the Council of Fashion Designers of America. Both prizes were awarded for her work at Céline.

We all wanted it! Céline’s Boston bag – first seen on the S/S 2010 runway.

In December 2017, following increasing rumors in the press, Philo announced her departure from Céline after finishing the F/W 2018 collection, which is to presented in March of that same year. Thanking her team, Phoebe Philo stated “Working with Céline has been an exceptional experience for me these last 10 years. I am grateful to have worked with an incredibly talented and committed team and I would like to thank everyone along the way who has been part of the collaborations and conversations…it’s been amazing.”

Hedi Slimane

On January 21, 2018, LVMH announced the appointment of Hedi Slimane as Artistic, Creative and Image Director, set to join the house on February 1. He is to direct all Céline collections, extending the brand’s offering with the launch of men’s fashion, couture and fragrances.

Great news for me, I can dress next summer in my former Saint Laurent pieces and will look like wearing new Celine. Money saved for other things…

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Céline, © Sandra Bauknecht

Tribute to Christian Lacroix from Arles

While visiting Arles yesterday, I passed by a Christian Lacroix store (photo at the end of this post) which immediately caught my eye as I had completely forgotten about the fashion house after it had been sold by LVMH to duty-free retailer Falic Fashion Group in 2005.

Visiting Arles yesterday – an inspiration for today’s post.

I had been a big fan of flamboyant Lacroix’s designs and even got married in one of his couture dresses. Personally speaking, when Christian opened his Maison, I started actively being interested in fashion and his creations inspired me a lot of what I do today.

The story of Christian Lacroix

Christian Lacroix was born in Arles, Bouches-du-Rhône in Southern France. At a young age he began already sketching historical costumes and fashions. In April 1987, his dream came true and he founded his own fashion house in a private mansion at 73 rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, in the heart of Paris. The House of Christian Lacroix was created by the Arlesian couturier and press agent Jean-Jacques Picart, with support from Bernard Arnault. Word quickly spread throughout Paris and Christian Lacroix’s name was on everyone’s lips.

A look from Lacroix’s F/W 1987 haute couture collection.

The following 26 July, Christian Lacroix unveiled his first Haute Couture collection for F/W 1987. This first collection was a radiant, opulent, virtuosic homage to the couturier’s roots; each look was infused with Mediterranean influences. The designer revisited traditional Arlesian outfits, drawing inspiration from the toreador’s cape. He highlighted southern France’s beauty, from the Camargue to Provence, in this 60-piece collection.

This first flamboyant fashion show was wildly successful, blowing the dust off the subdued world of 1980s high fashion and turning Parisian fashion of the day on its head. It was a departure from the minimalistic look of the influential Japanese designers en vogue at that time.

Christian Lacroix F/W 2004 Haute Couture collection

At a time when fashion was focused on simplicity, Christian Lacroix chose exuberance. When black became the standard, he opted for blood red, fuchsia pink and bright yellow.

With each new collection, Christian Lacroix designed pieces that combined unusual materials and colours, adorning looks with luxurious baroque touches. He brought back touches of folklore, history and theatre, infusing them with elegance and sophistication.

Very «Like a Prayer»: Anna Wintour chose for her first Vogue cover a Christian Lacroix couture jacket combined with a pair of jeans. It was photographed by Peter Lindbergh and  featured Israeli Model Michaela Bercu – US Vogue Nov 1988

Anna Wintour chose a Christian Lacroix Haute Couture jacket with a simple pair of jeans for her first American Vogue cover, photographed by Peter Lindberg in 1988. This look broke all the high fashion rules, pushing it into a younger and more liberated future.

After a spectacular debut, the Lacroix phenomenon spread as if propelled by the Mistral wind, and was soon featured prominently in all the most prestigious fashion magazines around the world.

Shalom Harlow in Christian Lacroix Haute Couture photographed by Bruce Weber for Vogue US, March 1995.

Throughout the 1990s, the brand continued to grow, diversifying its portfolio with household linen, tableware and more. This diversification continued to pick up speed in the following decade.

Between 2002-2005, Lacroix served also as the Creative Director for the Italian fashion house Emilio Pucci. He left on agreeable terms as he and the house believed that since he had other pursuits, it would be unfair to the house to not put in the energy required for future collections along with his other work.

Ad Campaign F/W 1997 featuring Karen Elson photographed by Paolo Roversi

In 2005, LVMH sold the House to its current owners, the Falic family, giving it new momentum as it explored other niches while continuing the House’s previous activities. In 2009, the fashion house put the business into administration and laid off all but 12 workers. Lacroix’s F/W 2009 Haute Couture was privately financed by Lacroix and each model was paid €50.

Final finale: Christian Lacroix and Vlada Roslyakova – Haute Couture F/W 2009

As Vogue editor Sarah Mower wrote: «It was one of the most poignant and emotionally fraught haute couture shows ever: a collection produced on a shoestring at the last minute, and only made possible by the collective will and donated time and skills of the seamstresses, embroiderers, jewelers, milliners, and shoemakers loyal to Christian Lacroix

«I didn’t want to cry,» said Lacroix «I want to continue, maybe in a different way, with a small atelier. What I really care about is the women who do this.» Lacroix said about his last Haute Couture collection. Throughout its history, the house never turned a profit and reported a €10 million loss in 2008.

When Christian Lacroix left his position as the House’s Artistic Director in late 2009, Sacha Walckhoff, who had worked at the House since 1992, was named Creative Director. Sacha continued the House’s transformation alongside President Nicolas Topiol, extending the creative focus to decoration and lifestyle collections.

Lacroix in 2018: Designing for Desigual

Lacroix, himself, started collaborating in 2011 with the Barcelona-based clothing brand Desigual. This year, he will launch 5 mini collections for the house.

Lacroix x Nymphenburg

He also collaborated with Nymphenburg for a limited edition collection of design objects.

Interior design by Christian Lacroix: Hotel Le Bellechasse in Paris 

Moreover, Christian Lacroix has completed interior design work at several landmark hotels, including the Hotel Le Petit Moulin in Spring, 2005; the Hotel Bellechasse, right in the heart of Saint-Germain-des-Prés (Paris), in 2007 (a member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World); and in 2010 Le Notre Dame hotel just a step from the cathedral Notre-Dame-de-Paris.

The newest hotel design project by Lacroix: Julius Caesar in Arles.

In 2014, formerly a 17th century Carmelite Convent, Julius Caesar in Arles opened its doors as a boutique hotel featuring décor designed by Christian Lacroix.

The Christian Lacroix store in Arles.

Lacroix without Lacroix… the House’s Studio still produces collections in men’s fashion, accessories (scarves, sunglasses, handbags, jewellery, watches and mobile phone accessories) and lifestyle (fabrics, wallpapers, cushions, rugs, tableware, candles and stationery). But unfortunately no women’s fashion… but to be honest that is also hard to imagine without Lacroix being there himself!

Lacroix, Sweetie, Lacroix! Your are a genius…

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Christian Lacroix, via Vogue and © Sandra Bauknecht

Breaking News: Hedi Slimane to Join Céline

This breaking news for all fashion lovers. One of the industry’s leading image-makers and trendsetters, Hedi Slimane, was announced by LVMH today as Artistic, Creative and Image Director of Céline with effect from February this year. He will direct all Céline collections, extending to men’s fashion, couture and fragrances.

Hedi Slimane rose to fame during his tenure as the Creative Director for Dior Homme (also under the helmet of LVMH) in the mid-2000’s. You could say that he invented the skinny suit. A decade later and maybe most notoriously, he went to Yves Saint Laurent and rebranded the label simply Saint Laurent. Its entire visual identity was reengineered by moving the design studio to Los Angeles and showing revamped rocker looks each season. Hedi Slimane’s talent and his remarkable ability to anticipate and express in a unique way the evolutions and desires of his age, will ensure a further era of exceptional growth and development for the House of Céline.

Bernard Arnault commented: I am particularly happy that Hedi is back within the LVMH Group and taking the reins of our Céline Maison. He is one of the most talented designers of our time.  I have been a great admirer of his work since we collaborated on Dior Homme, which he launched to global critical acclaim in the 2000s. His arrival at Céline reinforces the great ambitions that LVMH has for this Maison. Hedi will oversee and develop all creativity for both women’s and men’s fashion, but also for leather goods, accessories and fragrances. He will leverage his global vision and unique aesthetic virtuosity in further building an iconic French Maison”.

Hedi Slimane said: “I am delighted to join Bernard Arnault in this all-embracing and fascinating mission for Céline. I greatly look forward to returning to the exciting world of fashion and the dynamism of the ateliers”.

LoL, Sandra

Photo of Hedi Slimane | Y.R.

Being Modern: MoMA in Paris

Great news for all lovers of art. The Museum of Modern Art and Fondation Louis Vuitton announce the exhibition “Being modern: MoMA in Paris” taking place from 11 October 2017 to 5 March 2018.

Fondation Louis Vuitton presents, in its Frank Gehry-designed building, an exceptional exhibition devoted to the unrivaled collection of the Museum of Modern Art. Featuring more than 200 renowned masterpieces and less familiar, but highly significant works. This exhibition highlights the pivotal role that MoMA, its curators and its exhibition program have played in the history of art in the 20th and 21st Centuries, ranging from the birth of modern art through trends and styles such as American abstraction, Pop art and Minimalism to the most contemporary art.

Now engaged in a significant expansion and renovation of its building, MoMA has chosen Fondation Louis Vuitton as its partner to bring its legendary artistic heritage to Paris, showcasing its mission to be perpetually modern.

Bernard Arnault, President of Fondation Louis Vuitton says:
“I wanted Being Modern: MoMA in Paris to fall within the tradition of our previous major exhibitions such as Keys to a Passion, 2015, and Icons of Modern Art, The Shchukin Collection, 2016. All three have been organised in close collaboration with some of the world’s most prestigious international modern art museums. This exhibition marks, once again, our desire to provide the widest possible audience with the opportunity to engage with some of the world’s most remarkable works of art.”


Paul Signac (French, 1863–1935) Opus 217.
Against the Enamel of a Background Rhythmic with Beats and Angles, Tones, and Tints, Portrait of M. Félix Fénéon in 1890 1890
Oil on canvas (73.5 x 92.5 cm)
The Museum of Modern Art, New York Fractional gift of Mr. and Mrs. David Rockefeller.
© 2017 Artists Rights

Among the 200 works presented at Fondation Louis Vuitton are masterpieces by Paul Cézanne, Gustav Klimt, Paul Signac, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Giorgio de Chirico, Edward Hopper, Max Beckmann, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Marcel Duchamp, Francis Picabia, Alexander Calder, René Magritte, Walker Evans, Yayoi Kusama, Willem de Kooning, Jasper Johns, Yvonne Rainer and Frank Stella.

Constantin Brancusi (French, born Romania. 1876–1957) Bird in Space 1928
Bronze (137.2 x 21.6 x 16.5 cm)
The Museum of Modern Art, New York Given anonymously, 1934.
© 2017 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris

Some of the works will be shown in France for the first time: Constantin Brancusi’s bronze Bird in Space (1928) (see above); Diane Arbus’s Identical Twins, Roselle, New Jersey (1967); Andy Warhol’s Campbell’s Soup Cans (1962); Philip Guston’s Tomb (1978); (Untitled) “USA Today” by Felix Gonzalez-Torres (1990); 144 Lead Square by Carl Andre (1969); Untitled by Christopher Wool (1990); Untitled (You Invest in the Divinity of the Masterpiece) by Barbara Kruger (1982); and Patchwork Quilt by Romare Bearden (1970).

Enjoy some first impressions of the exhibition in this post. To book your ticket, click here please.

LoL, Sandra

Bruce Nauman (American, born 1941) Human/Need/Desire 1983
Neon tubing and wire with glass tubing suspension frames (239.8 x 179 x 65.4 cm)
The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of Emily and Jerry Spiegel, 1991
© 2017 Bruce Nauman/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Cindy Sherman (American, born 1954) Untitled Film Still #21 1978
Gelatin silver print (19.1 x 24.1 cm)
The Museum of Modern Art, New York Horace W. Goldsmith Fund through Robert B. Menschel, 1995 © 2017 Cindy Sherman

Ellsworth Kelly (American, 1923–2015) Colors for a Large Wall 1951
Oil on canvas, sixty-four panels (240 x 240 cm)
The Museum of Modern Art, New York Gift of the artist, 1969.
© 2017 Ellsworth Kelly


OMA (Office for Metropolitan Architecture) Welfare Palace Hotel Project, Roosevelt Island, New York, New York 1976
Gouache on paper (129.5 x 102.9 cm)
The Museum of Modern Art, New York Gift of The Howard Gilman Foundation, 2000.
© 2017 Rem Koolhaas

Shigetaka Kurita (Japanese, born 1972) for NTT DOCOMO, Inc., Japan, est. 1991 Emoji 1998-1999
Digital image dimensions variable
The Museum of Modern Art, New York Gift of NTT DOCOMO, Inc., 2016.
© 2017 NTT DOCOMO


Rirkrit Tiravanija (Thai, born Argentina 1961) untitled (the days of this society is numbered / December 7, 2012) 2014
Synthetic polymer paint and newspaper on linen (221 x 214.6 cm)
The Museum of Modern Art, New York Committee on Drawings and Prints Fund, 2014.
© 2017 Rirkrit Tiravanija

Photos: Courtesy of Louis Vuitton