Hear the word ‘Celine’ in a fashion context and you’d be forgiven for automatically dreaming of the cult French label. You’re thinking understated it-bags and ugly-chic shoes; quiet power dressing, rather than, say, power ballads.
Well, readers, you’d better Think Twice, because A New Day Has Come. You can see where we’re going with this, can’t you? Near, far, wherever you are, it can’t have escaped your notice that Celine Dion – yes, she of My Heart Will Go On fame – has undergone a dramatic fashion re-invention.
To pinpoint the start of the one-time Eurovision winner’s sartorial sea change, we’ll have to re-wind almost exactly one year, when Celine headed to Paris as part of her major European tour, making time to take in – and take over – couture week along the way. In keeping with her status as musical icon and Singer Of The Titanic Theme Tune, she sat front row at Dior and Giambattista Valli, where she ushered in a new era of show etiquette: snapping selfies with other show-goers, throwing models a trademark double thumbs-up as they made their way down the runway and rising to her feet with a dramatic ‘bravo!’ to mark a particularly spectacular finale.
This freshly crowned fashion queen needed a regal new wardrobe, which came courtesy of Law Roach, a stylist who also works with Insta-genic stars like Ariana Grande and Ruby Rose. According to Roach, though, it was his work with tween star turned Vuitton muse Zendaya that caught Celine’s eye.
‘[Celine] started to follow Zendaya’s style and one of the things she said was, “She’s so sophisticated.” Like, the things she wears, I can wear at my age. And she said that was what was appealing to her,’ he revealed in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter last year.
Neon green Balenciaga, head-to-toe Saint Laurent and cool new label Off-White are the sort of thing you’d typically see on a sartorially brave actress doing the pre-Oscar rounds or an aspiring singer keen to prove their fashion nous, but all played a part in the legendary singer’s new look. She even stepped out wearing – wait for it – utilitarian Céline.
These stellar ensembles, though, paled in comparison when Dion blessed us with the most meta of fashion choices: the $885 Titanic hoodie from cult brand Vetements.
Yes, the woman whose high notes soundtracked the most enduring love story of the ‘90s was wearing a high end sweatshirt, screen-printed with Kate and Leo’s soggy faces. It was fashion forward – which self-respecting street style star hasn’t been photographed in Vetements recently? – and self-referential enough to be a guaranteed ice, sorry, Internet breaker.
Fans of Dion's ouvre won't be too shocked by the singer's excursions to the most avant-garde frontiers of high fashion. For the last five years, she's almost exclusively worn couture designs for her live shows, boasting a shopping list that's a who's who of storied fashion houses: Schiaparelli, Armani Privé, Giambattista Valli. As the legend herself put it to Vogue, 'the clothes follow me; I do not follow the clothes.'
Following a triumphant Met Gala debut back in May (wearing bespoke Atelier Versace and an origami-inspired headpiece), Celine has made a triumphant return to her favourite sartorial stomping-ground: Paris Couture Week. For the most recent round of shows, she has once again made the City of Light her backdrop for a series of brilliant fashion moments: but this time, she's perfected her power poses (Yoga 'tree' poses? Check? Draped across the bonnet of a Mercedes? Done and done) and brought her own hashtag, #celinetakescouture.
Our favourite looks? The black Givenchy dungarees (think a high-fashion Super Mario and you won't be far off), a print-on-print maximalist ensemble by Cavalli and a mustard-yellow leather shirt dress worn for the Dior show. As for the secret to her signature style, the singer stays true to the following rules...
We're talking print on print on print, worn with the giddy abandon of a Changing Rooms-era Laurence Llewelyn Bowen.
And clashing textures
A snakeskin duster coat, suede thigh highs and a leather baker boy cap. We're in capital L 'Look' territory here...
The structural sleeve
Worn for her 20th anniversary performance of My Heart Will Go On at the Billboard Music Awards, this angel-winged one-off gown by Stephane Rolland is an architectural feat.
The statement shoulder
Whether it's a scene-stealing mega bow in demure powder blue (as demonstrated at the Beauty and the Beast premiere) or some killer detailing perched on the shoulder of an evening gown, asymmetry gets a big tick from Celine.
The ladylike handbag
Whether it's a Hermes Birkin or a minimalistic Céline pouch, the singer is never not toting a classic piece of arm candy: here, she's teamed her Giambattista Valli ensemble with Delvaux's Le Brillant bag in white. In September, she'll launch a fleet of bags in collaboration with Bugatti Group - her latest step towards all-round lifestyle guru status...