CELINE has launched its latest Spring-Summer 2021 (SS2021) menswear collection coined “The Dancing Kid.” Presented on the Circuit du Castellet motorsports racetrack, these new CELINE offerings take literal inspiration from the off-kilter aesthetic of wildly popular personalities birthed from the social media app TikTok.
Those in the know would be aware that Hedi Slimane, creative director of CELINE, is renowned for expounding on the romance and feelings of disenfranchisement of youth culture for his design influences, and this time is no different.
The title of the collection itself gives the clues away, referencing the viral dances of a TikTok star showcased via goldfish-attention span videos. The collection also pays homage to the style popularised online and beyond dubbed “Eboy”, that removes the lines separating exclusive fashion, subculture favourites, and popular culture, simply by mish-mashing anything and everything one loves at the same time.
What’s novel though, is how the menswear looks pinpoint the parallels between its inspiration and the zeitgeist — think neon hair colours, chunky chain accessories, comfy cardigans, casual separates with in-your-face slogans and reliable sharp tailoring. These visually outstanding looks suggest that they’re best worn when filming a TikTok video in a bedroom for the world to view, or when attending the next ballroom function whenever the coast is clear. Because, in today’s Zoom call work culture reality, who really cares about rigid dress codes anymore anyway? Or as a Gen Z’er would say, “You do you.”
Another interesting facet of CELINE SS2021 menswear is the showcase of artworks not just by one, or two, but five artists — Tyson Reeder, Jesse Harris, Gregory Edwards, Ryan Ford, and Amy Sillman — as seen peppered across the collection as bold prints or rendered in cosy knits and embroidery that cohesively blend together, in a way not dissimilar to an art collective showcase about the coming-of-age of the digital generation.
Whichever way one may feel about the clothes is up to individual opinion; style is after all a very subjective matter, but what is undeniably successful with CELINE’s SS2021 collection is the portrayal of teenage tenacity so prominently documented by today’s youth, thanks to social media, and what Gen Z has gotten right about fashion in present-day — that it isn’t about a rarefied gilded cage of autocrats dictating what we should supposedly want, but an egalitarian spirit to mix and clash apparel references from anywhere, into a look that perfectly expresses one’s individuality.
So while these menswear pieces do not reflect the elegance of bourgeois restraint seen on the haughtiest runways, they will surely get one noticed on Instagram’s Explore page, and maybe a Like and Follow from friendly online strangers too, for simply nailing the look that everyone else also craves today.
The millions of followers and global fame are on the other hand, of course, sold separately.
The CELINE Spring-Summer 2021 Menswear collection will be available in-stores and ONLINE from December 2020.