My day job seems to absorb more and more of my time, leaving me with little space for side projects like this blog, but I have tried to keep in touch with the fall ready-to-wear collections, at least from the narrow focus of what use designers are making of boots this year. And there were plenty of them, from ankle to thigh-high, and from Alberto Ferritti to Zuhair Murad. There were towering mock-croc thighboots at Max Mara and seventies-style platforms at Longchamp. But the one that garnered all the attention, and not just from me, was Hedi Slimane’s collection for Celine, a time machine taking us straight back to 1977/78, with pleated, knee-length skirts, horse-bit belts, white silk blouses, blazers, capes, and culottes. There were also glossy knee-length high-heeled boots, thigh-high boots over skinny jeans, and even sheepskin lined thighboots of the sort once sported by Kate Bush. Writing for Vogue, Sarah Mower described it as typical of the bourgeois French girl’s wardrobe throughout the ’70s and ’80s, but it could equally have been seen in Britain or America at the same time. It’s exactly the relaxed, countrified look typical of the second half of the nineteen seventies, which I discussed in an earlier post, “baggy boots” and all.
In the Daily Telegraph, Hannah Rochell pointed out that this “long skirt, tall boots” look has actually been around on the posts of various social media influencers since the fall of last year, suggesting that Slimane’s work was perhaps not as newsworthy as the mainstream fashion press was suggesting, although no less desirable for that. Meanwhile, I found myself wondering when was the last time that culottes teamed with knee-length boots were popular. My guess is that it’s been a good 40 years.
- Mower, Sarah. Celine Fall 2019 Ready-to-Wear Collection. Vogue.com, Mar 1, 2019
- Rochell, Hannah. Why the latest Celine collection is already old news on Instagram. Daily Telegraph, Mar 7, 2019