I’ve had about two months to marinate on the men’s collections that presented in June, two months to consider why they “lit me up like a candelabra on Hannukah,” and two months to decipher the difference between a brogue and an oxford (brogues are perforated, oxfords are not). It turns out the difference doesn’t matter, because what stuck like crumbs to a venus fly trap through the neon pink swim shorts and acid wash button-ups, summer dickies, cropped boatnecks, and a floral wreath-cum-scarf paired with oxfords (not brogues) were two things: striped overalls and an ivory blazer, nautical by the singular account of gold hardware on the sleeves and at the breast.
Both of these details were from the men’s show that Hedi Slimane showed for Celine. If you remember, I was outraged—outraged!—when he was appointed successor to Phoebe Philo. Who would be so arrogant as to initiate their reign by not just wiping clean any inkling of the former brand guard, but further designing the same exact thing they’d made for someone else (Saint Laurent)? And furthermore, what? There’d be menswear? This was a house that women built. What purpose would launching clothes-for-him serve?
I put my foot in my mouth last February after he showed his second womenswear collection for new Celine, but it was only after the unveiling of his second men’s collection that I resolved I’d have to stuff my ankle in, too.
What am I so drawn towards? Why do I like this Celine so much? I can hypothesize for days (analyzing nothing of functional value is where I’m most comfortable) on the contextual implications of Slimane’s contribution, both political and not, to the discourse, but in the most reductive terms, I think I know the answer.
I love it because I get it, but I don’t feel like I have to buy it to get it. You know? I’m already this guy—a sort of cross between a 1970s disco junkie and down-to-earth horseback rider, with enough flair to walk into a room full of Parisians and presumably charm their pants off. I have straight-leg jeans, denim shirts, blazers, trench coats, leather pants, and loafers. And I definitely have access to hundreds of bodegas that sell red carnations (to be used as a brooch). More broadly, the show reminded me that the greatest shopping center is the one in my room, adjacent to my bed, where the clothes are free and the options are endless.
See, but the endlessness of this optionality—it’s been crippling in the past. It has forced me to abandon the basic tenets of who I am (very good at applying historical data to current events) in favor of approaching each day as if Drew Barrymore’s character in 50 First Dates: like the one before never came, like there’s no foundation upon which to build. I guess in that way, his collection is like an organizational coach, a fashion mad lib, that encourages me to slot in stuff I’ve had, but perhaps forgotten about, and make it feel just as valuable (and new!) as it did when I first got it.
Here, I’ll show you:
Granted, this jacket, from Wardrobe.nyc, is in fact new. I had another one, but it was tattered and stained. I don’t know who makes this black button up, I fished it out of a giveaway pile my mom was composing on behalf of my younger brother after he graduated high school five years ago. The jeans are Khaite, I wore them all winter, and the shoes—oxfords, I believe—are from The Row’s first footwear collection. I bought them from The RealReal. And there you have it: my bodega brooch. It’s not exactly like figure B from the show, but I prefer that.
For my next trick, I borrowed overalls from Harling. Styled them under a black blazer I’ve had for five years. If you don’t have, but want one, I do recommend investing in one, try this, this or this (all under $500). The T-shirt is Hanes and the hat is Maison Michel. The brands don’t really matter, the point is that if you like the looks, if you feel like they sPeAk-2-yOu, you can probably recreate them. Maybe in this way, one such contextual implication of Slimane’s contribution is a benevolent nod towards making smarter consumption choices. Maybe.
Photographed by Louisiana Mei Gelpi.