Since Phoebe Philo stepped down as creative director of Céline earlier this year, the fashion community has been holding its breath, wondering what’s in store under her replacement, Hedi Slimane. In many ways, Philo had become almost synonymous with Céline since she stepped into the role in 2008. Which direction would the brand take in the wake of her absence?
We’re just now starting to glean an answer. Slimane, the former creative director for Saint Laurent, has presented the brand’s first handbag under his direction. But there’s been no ad campaign, or build-up to a release—the bag has instead been spotted on Lady Gaga’s arm (and on her Instagram).
The bag was first seen while Lady Gaga was leaving her co-star Bradley Cooper’s apartment in Paris. She’s since been spotted with the black bag on Parisian rooftops, outside of the Louvre, and at the Venice Film Festival.
Céline has not yet released the bag; it’s expected to make its official debut at Slimane’s inaugural collection for the house at Paris Fashion Week next month.
Because Céline has not technically released the bag, Slimane’s first for the house, its name remains unknown. What we can clearly see, from its boxy structure and top handle, is that the style is somewhat retro. Though the bag is a departure from Philo’s signature styles, such as the Phantom and Box bags, it retains something that still feels quintessentially Céline—perhaps it’s the distinctly modern and minimalist air.
Gaga has maintained a long fashion relationship with Slimane, for she’s something of a “tester” for Slimane’s anticipated designs. In 2012, for instance, she was the first to wear his early designs for Saint Laurent.
Slimane is expected to shake things up at Céline quite a bit. He’s not only distancing the brand from Philo’s overtly feminine and understated aesthetic, but also intending to introduce menswear, couture, and a fragance. This bag, at the very least, gives us a hint of what’s to come in the next few seasons.
Is the new Céline bag a YAY or NAY for you? Has the style—or the way it looks on Lady Gaga—swayed you one way or another? Are you a Céline lover, anxiously awaiting what other changes the new creative director will bring? Tell us below.
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