Marcelo Lavin, Anne Mackenzie Interviews
CELINE is not just a clothing brand. Creative director Hedi Slimane’s vision for the luxury brand encompasses everything from high-tech gadgets to K-Pop superstars, all in an unrivaled premo package. It’s a lifestyle, baby.
Art is an integral part of the CELINE lifestyle, because what is life without a bit of culture? And, when I say art, I mean all facets of creativity. But also, like, the fine arts.
Slimane is of course an accomplished artist himself, having shown his own photographic work in various international exhibitions and often the objective of CELINE campaigns. This experienced eye guides her direction for every CELINE presentation.
Each season at CELINE, Slimane completes a selection of ready-to-wear and accessories with his photographic eye, curated music and two-way artistry: artist collaborations and couture details.
Slimane’s artistic infusion sometimes consists of juxtaposing bouncy trap pop and his own brooding snaps of Tiktok stars against hand-beaded jackets featured in a moody catwalk video shot by hovering drones circling the models, making the audience look like voyeurs at a parade of very stylish people.
It’s what we would have called a “high-low mix” back then, back when designers could get in real trouble for mixing Birkenstocks and catwalk fashion. These days it’s simply called “style” and few people have a better eye than Slimane.
Lavin, who lives in Mexico City, is a visual artist with dreamy abilities. Its pastel hues and lightly airbrushed clouds are a world apart from the hypnotically edgy pencil and ink used by Austin-based Mackenzie, who is also an amateur tattoo artist.
Their distinct flavors of artistic crafts are reflected in the distinction between their CELINE designs, which rely heavily on stylized text to affect a sense of love, a sense of nostalgia.
Available now on Celine’s website and stores, Lavin and Mackenzie’s CELINE creations – drawn from works in each artist’s catalog – include lush intarsia knit hoodies and cut denim vests, each carefully hand-studded to match the original works that they each designed.
Mackenzie provided one piece – the stylized text “PLEASE DREAM OF ME” – while Slimane requested two works from Lavin, the text-centric “HATE TO LOVE YOU” and a lush “HEAVENLY DAYS” piece that appears on a shirt with camp collar, teddy jacket, and even a studded trainer, surrounded by silver chains.
Lavin and Mackenzie spoke to Highsnobiety via email about the process of collaborating with CELINE, seeing their designs come to life on Exquisite Spring/Summer 2022 Apparel.
How did working with CELINE and Hedi Slimane go?
Super easy and smooth, also a bit tedious as it was all digital and email.
A CELINE rep contacted me on Instagram and asked if they could use my work on clothes for a runway show. At first I thought it wasn’t real, but once I saw the clothes I was so excited.
My friend sent me a picture of the denim jacket she saw in the Madison Avenue window. I was pretty star smitten.
What was your personal experience with CELINE before this project?
I didn’t know anything about it, I don’t really like haute couture so I was surprised to be chosen for the collection.
I had friends who knew them and owned some of their accessories, which I loved. Céline is my first foray into luxury fashion and I hope to continue doing more collaborations in the future! This opportunity showed me that it really is possible to work as an artist, something I’ve wanted to do all my life.
Which room is your favourite?
Boots with the “Heavenly Days” patch probably really like how these colors look in the shoes. Reminds me of a pair of shoes made of sky and clouds.
I love the black mesh top with the bold white lettering. It reminds me of k-pop stars in the early 2000s with lots of dancewear inspired pieces mixed in with gothic and stage inspiration. I’m a huge k-pop fan and it brings me back to that style and I try to reflect it myself.
What feeling do you hope the finished pieces produce?
I wanted to convey a feeling of nostalgia, because I felt that for my partner when I couldn’t see as much as I wanted. The repetition of the sentence accentuates this desire. I like to reveal something about myself in my work and feel like this, and all of my art, is an act of vulnerability for the viewer, an attempt to connect through emotions that we are all linked. In that sense, it’s kind of like my diary, and it’s one of my entries.
Text is a direct way to communicate with viewers. How do you feel about working with it?
A little weird actually. As I’m really immersed, sometimes I forget that my work doesn’t physically exist beyond the visual representation on a screen, so the materialization is a bit strange but rather inspiring at the same time maybe because of the impact the artwork can have being printed in something meant to be worn.
Personally, I’m a bit of a romantic and like to discuss romance and love with other people. I think that phrase brings out a softer part of my heart that yearns for things it can’t have.
But I know other people feel the same and I guess it’s my way of finding comfort, of putting my heart on my sleeve. If there are people who read my short message and feel connected with my heart, that’s all I can ask for!