Caviar, Leather Pants, and Metamodernism: Bands discuss Hedi Slimane’s PORTRAIT OF A PERFORMER for Celine

HEDI SLIMANE’s penchant for rock and roll has famously infused his silhouettes at Dior Homme, Saint Laurent, and most recently Celine, and is perhaps best documented by his own photography: black and white portraits of music legends (think Keith Richards, Lou Reed, and Amy Winehouse), models, and muses – often, emerging acts out of Brooklyn or Los Angeles, the Parisian designer’s adopted home. “I like a ‘simple’ photograph,” Slimane has said of his images, “one that does not pretend to be anything other than a captured moment in someone’s life.” This year, Slimane turned his lens toward some new favorites – namely, The Goon Sax, Ditz, The Oracle Sisters, and The Wants – whose front men indulged us in answering a stage-geared questionnaire. We learned that style is the antithesis of fashion, Bristol’s Giant Swan is kind of trending, and rock stars aren’t as nostalgic as you might think.

Madison Velding VanDam, The Wants

What cultural figures or movements inspire you?

I’m inspired by “metamodernism,” a cultural and philosophical reaction to postmodernism that addresses the confusion of the post-internet age. Metamodernists embrace a relentless juxtaposition of irony and sincerity in support, ultimately, of practical idealism. YouTube Antonio Garza is a real world representation of metamodernism and she and other YouTube stars are just as, if not more interesting than mainstream celebrities.

What’s your go-to everyday and/or stage uniform?

We playfully refer to our stage garb as “communist businessperson,” an oxymoron if there ever was one. (For the record, The Wants are not communists.)

How do you define “style”?

“Style” is the distinctive way that one does their thing – not to be confused with its antonym, “fashion.”

If you could live in any era, which one would it be?

There’s no time like the present. But I’m very curious what the future holds.

What does Celine mean to you?

Celine is a très classique French clothing brand that is giving Hedi the reigns to do his thing, for which I’m appreciative.

What are you listening to right now?

I’m particularly struck by the vitality of the Bristol scene: Giant Swan, Beak, IDLES, and Scalping are all amazing new artists.

Paris or LA?

Paris. I could consume wine, cheese, bread, and pastries every day ’til I die. Further, I’m not sold on LA, probably because sunshine doesn’t “fair” well with my pallid visage.

Cal Francis, Ditz

What cultural figures or movements inspire you?

I’m most inspired by the DIY punk scene of the 1980s. Everything about it was so eclectic and people were celebrated for their sonic and aesthetic differences.

What’s your go-to everyday and/or stage uniform?

Black Polo neck, black skater skirt or trousers and lots of red smeared eye shadow.

How do you define “style”?

Style, to me, is confident personal expression, unhindered by trend, but aware of its existence at the same time.

If you could live in any era, which one would it be and why?

I’m happy to live in the present. I think my curiosity about the future overshadows my nostalgia for the past.

What does Celine mean to you?

Celine means innovation through renovation. Especially with Hedi’s recent collections, Celine has really managed to pull from rock and roll’s youth culture and put a totally fresh spin on it.

What are you listening to right now?

At the moment I’m listening to Brigitte Fontaine, Shopping, and Giant Swan – as well as the same Swans, Fugazi, and The Fall albums that I’ve had on repeat for past ten years.

Paris or LA?

I’ve never been to LA, but Paris is one of my favorite cities.

Louis Forster, The Goon Sax

What cultural figures or movements inspire you?

Judith Butler, Genesis P-Orridge, Andy Warhol, William Burroughs. In terms of movements, we’ve always been obsessed with Suprematism and early 1970s Glam.

What’s your go-to everyday and/or stage uniform?

It changes every few months, but at the moment my everyday uniform is a beige coat with a circular navy blue collar that a friend gave me. My black/grey felt pants, and maybe a dark loose fitting button-up.

How do you define “style”?

Creating a whole. Not a tacky rich person in expensive clothes. Don’t be fooled.

If you could live in any era, which one would it be and why?

I would choose the 1960s so I could take care of a few things, pursue a career as life guard and save Brian Jones.

What does Celine mean to you?

Jeff, Natalie, Hedi, Clara, etc. It’s a really cool team. In a more abstract sense, Celine is a dialogue between the past and future.

Paris or LA?

LA.

Christopher Moore and Lewis Lazar, The Oracle Sisters

What cultural figures or movements inspire you?

Christopher Moore: Jack London, Tom Waits, Charles Bukowski, Bob Dylan, Kate Tempest, Salena Godden, and Maria Popova have all inspired me recently.

Lewis Lazar: The Haenyo (mermaids) of Jeju island. I appreciate how a mermaid culture evolved naturally on a geographically isolated terrain. This is similar to how religions evolve independently of foreign investment or globalization when people are left to their own local, ingenious devices.

What’s your go-to everyday and/or stage uniform ?

CM: A cream linen suit worn on stage, day in and day out. It inevitably ends up telling its own story.

LL: If I were on stage every day, it would be in a Canadian Tuxedo.

How do you define “style”?

CM: When one’s existence is an effortless continuation of one’s essence.

LL: I define style by a constant war waged against nudist colonies.

If you could live in any era, which one would it be?

CM: Any time before the first era is bound to be worth a peek.

LL: It would be the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ, because I would want to have something to talk about with Kanye West.

What does Celine mean to you?

CM: It’s 7.00am, and there’s an androgynous figure in a trench coat sitting in the lobby of the Ritz, sipping Earl Grey tea while listening to The Libertines.

LL: Celine is eating caviar in leather pants.

What are you listening to right now?

CM: Bossa Nova in boxer shorts – while eating poached eggs.

LL: Mostly classical music and jazz these days, and mostly while cooking.

Paris or LA?

CM: Paris, then LA.

LL: That’s a tough question. New York?

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