As Hedi Slimane made his comeback in his first stand-alone menswear show for Celine tonight, it was as if he joined a choir of voices which are competing for new-boy attention. The LVMH menswear shows this week attest to that: Virgil Abloh at Louis Vuitton, Kim Jones at Dior, Jonathan Anderson at Loewe, Kris Van Assche at Berluti shows attest to that. As a rock star of menswear—who made a second mass impact by triggering young men and women to buy during his reinvention of Saint Laurent between 2012 and 2016—Hedi Slimane reentered the boy-specific arena with all the conviction of the awesome marketeer of music-cult heritage styles the industry recognizes him to be. Hedi is Hedi, whatever the name of the brand he’s playing for: He’s trained his audience to expect nothing less.
The question of how he’d shift the needle again began with his opening statement: a black double-breasted suit, white shirt, black skinny tie, and mean New Wave shades. Then, a vast smorgasbord of layered jackets and coats, iterating a range of ’80s vibes: hints of a boy’s view of dad’s Armani-gray office wear, granddad’s country tweeds, and classic throwback rock-idol leather jackets and leopard-spot drape coats. Slimane can dazzle, no doubt about it. In the glamour stakes on red carpets, the sequined coats and jackets will threaten to outshine any competition.