Celine Homme presents Fall 2024 in the Californian desert

KNOWN as the first psychedelic symphony to have been composed, the ‘Symphonie Fantastique’ has stayed with Hedi Slimane since he was 11. Revisiting Hector Berlioz’s 1830 masterpiece for Celine Homme‘s Fall 2024 collection, the artistic director presented a cinematic film in the Mojave desert in Los Angeles against the backdrop of the Leonard Bernstein recorded version of the music.

In true Slimane style, the collection video was framed predominately in black-and-white with a grand production to bring the designer’s vision of grandiose minimalism to life. Opening with a fleet of helicopters carrying a single Celine-cladded jukebox onto the middle of an open road, what followed was a fitting group of black vintage Cadillacs carrying the models to the centre.

“You can easily see how a lovesick musician could become obsessed by it,” writes Bernstein in 1969, six years after taking it to a studio. “And if you understand that, you’re ready to hear the symphony”.

Whether Slimane’s personal life reflects his decision to choose this piece or he enjoyed a critics’ view of the music (“the almost inconceivable strangeness that one could ever imagine”), there was immediate familiarity in Fall 2024 that pushed past the soundtrack. Bringing back tailoring in full force, this collection marked the return of the ‘l’ line, something embedded in his design language. Fedoras, shirts cut above the wrist, thin ties, leather trenches and of course a meticulously slim silhouette paraded one after another.

Evolving his sartorial touch through research of the dress in ‘Anglomania of the 19th century’, frock coats, three-buttoned suits and waistcoats brought a transgression to the Californian setting, furthered by the emphasis of fabric choice in the show notes that state these styles were all exclusively cut from ‘silk, cashmere and vicuna’.

Not failing to show off the Celine ateliers, a sequin-studded tuxedo glimmered in the West Coast sun followed by an eclectic mix of various versions of this red-carpet-worthy take on the classic. But most notably, Slimane – quite literally shone – with the thick-knitted gold crystal overcoat finished with a high-neck collar worthy of pausing the film just to get a better glimpse at the savoir-faire.

With Los Angeles noted as Slimane’s second home, the decision to take Celine Homme’s Fall 2024 collection here comes as no surprise. Fascinated by the steeped history of music culture in the city, he crafted an abundance of looks ready to be worn on stage.

by Imogen Clark

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