EXCLUSIVE: Hedi Slimane Took Us Inside CELINE’s Wiltern Barn-Burner

CELINE’s Winter 2023 womenswear collection, held in December 2022, was no mere runway show. Sure, there was a catwalk and, yes, models wore Hedi Slimane’s new designs but Slimane delivered so much more than clothes — he made CELINE Winter 2023 an event.

These in-situ photographs, provided exclusively to Highsnobiety, give us an on-the-ground view of CELINE’s seasonal fête inside Los Angeles’ historic Wiltern Theater.

Soundtracked by a special version of The White Stripes’ “Hello Operator” that was specially co-produced by Slimane himself, CELINE’s Winter 2023 runway show was classic Slimane, all substance and all style: slinky bodysuits, snug blazers, thigh-high riding boots.

Then, after the last model returned backstage, the fun began.

“The Age of Indieness,” as CELINE’s Winter 2023 is called, lived up to its name. Slimane sought to celebrate the legacy of the Wiltern, a legendary theater that’s hosted performances from Slimane-approved musicians like Sonic Youth and Nick Cave, so he invited some of his musical idols to perform.

The Strokes and Interpol took the stage in turn, The Kills DJ’d and, to cap it all off, proto-punk trailblazer Iggy Pop blessed the crowd with a barn-burning performance.

Meanwhile, audience members, clad in their painfully chic leather jackets and tight jeans, smoked and rubbed shoulders with CELINE ambassadors like rapper Wiz Khalifa.

CELINE’s runway-cum-concert epitomized the Hedi Slimane CELINE era. Not only because of the musicians involved — obviously, music is core to Slimane’s design ethos — but also because Slimane was involved in every step of the production, from casting the models and styling the models to overseeing the glitzy set design.

CELINE is Hedi Slimane is CELINE, one inextricable from the other.

That’s why Slimane’s CELINE ignores trends and focuses instead on organically fleshing out Slimane’s vision through tangible goods, be they clothes or home goods. Or the occasional concert, if the moment calls for it.

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