The French girl is an allusive erudite, yet despite the mystique surrounding the sartorial movements of the Parisienne, Celine has offered up a hypothesis of their own with their Women’s Summer 2024 collection. Entitled “Tomboy”, Celine’s creative director Hedi Slimane has proposed that under layers of academia, the French girl is really a party one with a collection rife with oxymorons and underpinned by a dialogue of tensions.
Released as a surprise on Friday, October 20 to the delight of legions of Celine-ites—because the initiated know well and good that fashion month isn’t over even after the last model’s plane left the tarmac at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport—the French luxuriate bookishly explores the dichotomy of collegiate life through riffing on archetypes of early 2000s uniforms.
Released in a digital format directed by Slimane himself, Celine has trotted across the road from their Parisian atelier to France’s national library, Bibliothèque nationale de France, to stage a runway in the rows of the Beaux-Art reading room, Salle Labrouste. Soundtracked to an extended version of LCD Soundsystem’s “Too Much Love”, which the Maison describes as “one of the most influential sounds in indie electronic music and club scenes,” Slimane’s vision for Celine’s contemporary Y2K-inspired wardrobe becomes realised under glass domed ceilings and walls lined with hardcover esoteric books.
The crux of this collection is designed for the academic and the aloof, with sorority codes like bratty velour tracksuits and knee-high ugg-style boots punctuated with Slimane’s signature androgynous fervour. Fit for the girls who rolled into final weeks nursing last night’s bad decisions, the only accessory missing from this ultra-noughtie presentation was an extra-whipped Starbucks frappuccino.
Juxtaposing the classic setting with 2005 tones and codes, Slimane offers a modern reimagination of his signature suiting commitment to the allure of androgynous tailoring through the lens of a freshman tomboy. The opening looks are reminiscent of students who dress for their last tutorial of the day in ensembles best suited for the dance floors of Paris’ nightclub district.
Raw-hem cut-off shorts are paired with netting tank tops and leather jackets inspired by Napoleonic coats. Elsewhere, ethereal dresses float along the library’s floor under a grey school coat. The idea of recontextualising Y2K staples is a prominent motif apparent throughout the entirety of the collection. Leather bomber jackets are styled back with soon-to-sell-out headphones embossed with the ‘Triomphe’ sigil (made as part of a special Celine project in collaboration with Master & Dynamic), lingerie-inspired corsetry is softened with Slimane skinny jeans and quintessential Celine structured blazers. Yet, 2000-isms are dialled up a notch with low-waisted tennis shorts, baseball caps, flared jeans and ab-baring crop tops.
The collection moved across every on-campus cliché, from the sporty track star complete in a striped leather tracksuit to the studious valedictorian in sensible sneakers and a shearling cardigan and class factotum with an anything-goes leopard-print skirt and button-up jacket set. Here, Celine argues that these textbook subcultures are worth reading into, with a clash of scholarly styles underpinned by early 2000s ease. Buttoned-up and low-brow ideals intersect under Celine’s storied heritage, proving that the history book on the shelf is indeed repeating itself.
No need for late registration, watch Celine’s Women Summer 2024 collection below.
This article originally appeared on Grazia International