The story of the Celine AW23 menswear collection begins with a place dear to Hedi Slimane's heart: Le Palace. Built in the 17th century as a theatre dance hall, the Parisian venue would later earn a reputation as France's answer to Studio 54. It was the first of its kind to draw a crowd from all planes of society and it attracted names like Serge Gainsbourg, Andy Warhol, Grace Jones and Yves Saint Laurent. A 16-year-old Hedi Slimane was bewitched by Le Palace, frequenting it most nights as a teenager, and later on in 2018 he would be lured there once more for a surprise 50th birthday party.
Merging the sentimental night scenes of his youth with the electroclash clubbing frenzy of the early aughts, Slimane finds his anchor for Celine AW23. As always, music is the current that runs through the collection, and this time around it acts as a tribute to Alan Vega and Martin Rev's proto-punk band Suicide formed in New York City in 1970.
It would be a difficult feat to pull off by anyone else, but this is Hedi Slimane's domain. The Celine creative director has been steadily championing the return of indie sleaze through previous collections and although there are 70s accents, for AW23 it's full speed ahead.
To an audience comprising of rock stalwarts, including Jack White, Lili Sumner, Jane Birkin, The Libertines and Earl Cave, Slimane presented a collection that revolved around skinny low-rise leather trousers. Some were perforated with silver grommets and other looks were paired with studded leather jackets to match. A handful of women's looks were peppered throughout the show, underlining the fluidity between Slimane's designs, and overwhelming tiger-printed coats crafted from shearling cashmere drove the rockstar sleaze home – as if the red and leopard accents or silk neckerchiefs needed any help.
Preview the Celine AW23 Menswear collection, below.