Arguably the oracle that is Phoebe Philo, who took the helm of Céline in 2008, is not quite as casting crazy as the house’s newly announced successor and publicity-instigator Hedi Slimane. If Philo’s designs are known for their smart sensuality, Hedi’s are for their sexuality. At first, his new Saint Laurent in 2012 was heretical in the eye’s of YSL sticklers: extravagant, immoral, provocative thrift or something. Casting-wise, Philo always had a penchant for demystifying models into sobering, minimal Céline totems. The result: very spiritual, very real, very woman. The singular muse that comes to mind is Daria Werborwy who defined seven of Philo’s campaigns. Hedi on the other has a special love for waving his hand and aggrandizing a model or musician or fashion delinquent and redressing them in his own likeness, taking their picture and naming them dignitaries of his sonic youth manifesto, say a Grace Hartzel or a Julia Cumming. Two great designers, two different vantage points. This all begs the question: which face will Hedi use to proposition us come time for his new Céline?
Here are 5 things to consider as food for thought:
To give perspective some of Phoebe’s favorites to use were Daria Werbowy, Karly Loyce, Charlee Fraser, Binx Walton, Frederikke Sofie, Daniela Kocianova and that one legendary time with Joan Didion. Does this take them out of the running?
Some of Hedi’s favorites during his tenure at Saint Laurent were Grace Hartzel, Edie Campbell, Cara Delevingne, Julia Cumming, Helena Severin, Lili Sumner, Lida Fox, while also repeatedly using Veronika Vilim, Kiki Willems and Staz Lindes.
Outside of campaigns, Hedi is prolific in his obsessive documenting of his company of musicians, skaters, and young people, and posts his hundreds of photos on his DIARY. Perhaps his next Céline muse is somewhere there? Remember way back when Hedi picked Sidney Williams out from the Coachella crowd when she was in 8th grade? Will he introduce a total unknown?
A Céline fragrance is coming, adding an additional layer of casting to consider. Hedi will be directing all the Céline collections, LVMH says, “extending to men’s fashion, couture and fragrances.” At Saint Laurent, Hedi made it clear he played no role in the direction of Yves Saint Laurent Beauté.
A question to be asked is will Hedi, again, be photographing all the visuals for his Céline? The answer is likely yes. Though he photographs a lot of models, not all of them get featured so numerously in his brand work as Grace Hartzel… plus just she happens to appear in his diary from the last couple of days. A close second is Sunflower Bean singer Julia Cumming. Appearing a bunch, but not recently, both editorially and for YSL, is Australian muse and now actress Abbey Lee.