At the beginning of the lockdown period, all the way back in March, many of us Olds (in this case, anyone over the age of, oh, say, 25) decided it was finally time to download that TikTok thing we’d been hearing so much about from the Youths to try and understand the hype. Spare time and all, you understand.
Now, I’m not a betting man, but I’d still wager that designer Hedi Slimane — who has long been obsessed with youngs and youth culture — has spent a fair amount of hours on the controversial app himself. This assumption is all based on the Celine Summer 2021 collection, which accompanying notes call “a ‘documentary’ collection, a portrait of a generation.”
Everything about the collection screams Gen Z, from the now-standard branded sports bras layered under flannel button downs, to the baseball caps so casually styled with sequins, and from the anoraks and boxing shorts covered in vintage logos paired with fuzzy sandals (!!!) and socks, to the hoodies tucked inside bomber jackets. These clothes are for Emma Chamberlain to wear vintage shopping in the Marais, or for Charli D’Amelio to wear brunching in the 11th arrondissement. (I am checking with a real French Gen-Zer on whether these things are cool!)
Of course, pull apart the styling and there are individual pieces that work just as well for the folks who actually pull in the kinds of paychecks that would allow them to afford Celine, like tiered chiffon dresses, easy denim pieces and menswear-inspired blazers. There were some uber-embellished, laidback dresses near the end that felt perfect for the kind of socially-distanced red carpet stuff we’ve been seeing all summer, too.
We can — and probably will, knowing the reaction that often follows Slimane — argue about whether it makes sense or is even appropriate for a fashion house like Celine to be so youth-obsessed. (My vote: No, and not to sound like a broken record, but it also feeds into Slimane’s beyond-exhausting obsession with extreme thinness.)
But, like it or not, Slimane definitely knows how tap into a youth culture, and these clothes are made for the types of kids going viral on TikTok — or, perhaps more accurately, the adults who are eager to capture a bit of their magic for themselves. The kids themselves might be stuck swapping vintage Celine on Depop until they get a few million more followers.
See every look from the Celine Summer 2021 collection in the gallery below: