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Midway through the Paris collectionsSurvivor Happy Holidays Christmas shirt . It’s fair to say that designers here are suffering from a collective case of bipolar disorder. That is, the shows are either love letters to some element of romance or they are explorations of the apocalypse, or sometimes both all at once. I love you, I hate you, now we’re all going to die. Would you believe we’ve had a season that has included collections featuring gas masks in a wine cave turned fallout shelter (Marine Serre), a segment on radioactive looking neon sportswear (Anthony Vaccarello at Saint Laurent), and, just now, an unexpectedly sweet turn from Hedi Slimane at Celine?
It’s been challenging, after four days of watching the collections as a new generation of designers replaces one that is all too quickly slipping away, not to wonder if the name on the label really matters any moreSurvivor Happy Holidays Christmas shirt . Just think how many of the collections from historic brands have seemed completely disconnected from something we used to describe as “heritage.” Slimane’s show at Celine tonight served to underscore how little that word actually means, since the house has been through so many iterations, not only of Phoebe Philo but also of Michael Kors. Slimane is very quickly making a Celine of his own, and, as he did at Saint Laurent and Dior previously, he made his second women’s collection the place for defining that image. This time, Slimane took a sharp turn away from the skinny and cool and moved toward an almost preppy sense of refinement. Here were below-the-knee skirts with kicky dropped pleats, in leather and scratchy tweed varieties; and also a version of a varsity jacket, leather bombers, culottes, and forgiving capes and coats. It was as if Slimane had thrown Courtney Love to the scrapheap of his mood board and replaced her with Ali MacGraw.