Tuesday 19 November 2019

Dion does Dior as Celine channels her inner fashionista

Celine Dion is having a fashion moment right now, from naked selfies to front-row seats in Paris

The 'Vogue' shoot Photo: Courtesy of 'Vogue' magazine
The 'Vogue' shoot Photo: Courtesy of 'Vogue' magazine
Sophie Donaldson

Sophie Donaldson

The year's most unlikely fashion icon has emerged triumphant in Paris. She sat FROW with Anna Wintour, stripped off for a naked selfie for Vogue and has been blessed with her own hashtag. Sorry, Kim - Celine Dion is having a moment.

During haute couture fashion week, which finished last Thursday, she was seen sashaying through the streets draped in designer ensembles that got more daring by the day.

She paired black leather Givenchy dungarees with crystal-studded Gucci sunglasses. She strutted around in a wide-legged blue tracksuit by edgy label Off-White. She stunned in a fuchsia and tangerine floral three-piece suit by Roberto Cavalli. Her piece de resistance, however, was the head-to-toe Balmain look featuring a floor-length brown croc trench, biker-inspired tiger print tee and suede boots so high they disappeared beneath the hem of her shirt.

In a mustard leather dress by Dior
In a mustard leather dress by Dior

Vogue has tapped into the world's new-found fascination with her and has teamed up with the star, documenting her haute couture highlights in photos on the magazine's Instagram accompanied by the hashtag #CelineTakesCouture. Despite all the outrageous fashion, the one that got the most attention was a candid snap of the 49-year-old completely naked on a chair, her long limbs twisted to cover her modesty. Celine looks good in couture, but she looks even better in nothing at all. The magazine will publish the rest of the images at the end of the month.

The new-look Celine Dion has been described as "sensational", "major", the "ubiqutor of Paris Couture Week" and "the fashion icon 2017 needs".

The internet is agog. If Celine's life was a movie (which it certainly could be), she would be the former geek who got a makeover and has just been crowned prom queen - in a prom dress by Balenciaga. This is Celine Dion, who found fame via Eurovision and whose music is so uncool it is most often described as a "guilty pleasure". But despite all the designer garb Celine Dion is still uncool, and that's exactly why she is having a moment.

Dion giving the thumbs up at the Giambattista Valli show
Dion giving the thumbs up at the Giambattista Valli show

In the aloof world of haute couture, she has been a joy to behold. In Paris she cheerily greeted fans and gave double thumbs-up to the cameras and smized the paparazzi. After the incredible Giambattista Valli catwalk show she leapt to her feet, clapped, whooped and kissed the designer, all while a po-faced Anna Wintour sat two seats away.

Arriving at the Dior show clad in skin-tight leather leggings and oversized sunglasses, she tried her best to act like a serious fashion type, until she took a tumble in her impossibly high shoes and almost fell to the ground.

At the Met Gala in May, Wintour's party to end all parties, she arrived in an asymmetrical Versace gown that was slit nearly to her waist. Lest anyone think she was taking herself too seriously, she told a red carpet reporter she had her invitation and driver's licence in her pocket in case she wasn't recognised at the door.

Oh, Celine.

Her Parisian transformation is down to the masterful eye of stylist Law Roach. After seeing Disney star Zendaya's impeccable red carpet style, Dion asked Google who dressed Zendaya, discovered Roach - and promptly hired him for her month in Paris.

Despite last attending a fashion show "20 years ago", she is an avid couture fan. For the past five years she has had a residency in Las Vegas and Vogue reports that she wears almost exclusively couture for her performances, altering the custom garments with elastic and supports to allow her to move freely on stage.

Her love of fashion and snappy new stylist are explanation enough for this sudden new turn as fashion plate.

But this reinvention is more than just aesthetic. Just 18 months ago her husband of 22 years died of cancer. Two days later, she lost her brother to the same disease. After what you imagine was an unbearable period of grief, during which she still performed and cared for her three children, it would appear Celine has emerged with a renewed appreciation for the beauty in life.

Fashion is often seen as pointless, which in some ways, it is. But the act of applying a slick of red lipstick, or pulling on that dress that makes you feel invincible, can be truly therapeutic. The transformative power of fashion is a profound thing; it has the ability to change the way we see ourselves, and the way the world perceives us.

Fashion can be empowering and cathartic. It can be pure fantasy at times when we need to escape, just for a moment or two, the realities of everyday life. And where better to do that than Couture Week? Wonderfully, it seems Celine has rediscovered her joie de vivre in Paris.

Sunday Independent

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