Slimane revolution at Celine as Paris fashion week starts

Fiachra GIBBONS, Olga NEDBAEVA
Superstar designer Hedi Slimane opened up about his style, his friendship with Lady Gaga and his struggle with tinnitus

Paris women's fashion week starts Monday with fashionistas waiting with bated breath to finally see Hedi Slimane's debut at Celine.

The superstar designer, who pioneered the skinny look at Dior and Saint Laurent, was handed carte blanche in January to make the fabled French house his own.

The results of his nine months of cogitations will be revealed on Friday.

The signs so far are that his approach is likely to be revolutionary.

Slimane has already changed the logo, doing away with the French accent on Celine's first "e" and mention of Paris on its advertising campaigns -- a possible hint that he intends to continue spending time photographing his rock star friends in Los Angeles.

He has also erased all trace on Instagram of his predecessor Phoebe Philo's hugely influential decade at the label.

The British designer gave Celine a much-copied hip minimalism, with her love of white Adidas Stan Smith tennis trainers helping to popularise the vintage look.

But Paris-born Slimane wants to make a clean break with the past.

Earlier this month the label said that the new upper-case logo was inspired by its 1960s modernist incarnation, and that having at first got rid of all mention of the French capital, Paris would be "reinstated" on its clothing labels and on packaging.

Luxury giant LVMH, which owns Celine, gave Slimane complete control of the brand's images and creative side in order to sign him up after he walked away from Saint Laurent last year.

They are also letting him create a menswear line. Up to now Celine has only made clothes for women.

The 50-year-old fell out with Saint Laurent reportedly because of his frustration at not being able to control its perfume and cosmetics arms.

- Paris utterly dominant -

The LVMH deal has put Slimane alongside Chanel's Karl Lagerfeld as one of the most powerful designers in fashion.

After New York, London and Milan, fashion returns to its undisputed capital on Monday.

The biggest, longest and most important fashion week of all kicks off with Italian designer Maria Grazia Chiuri's spring summer collection at Dior.

She has quit Dior's traditional Rodin museum venue for the show, which will take place instead at the legendary Longchamps horse racing track.

With the French capital utterly dominant these days, nearly a dozen new brands -- almost all international -- will be showing in the official calender for the first time.

These include the highly-rated young Chinese-Korean designer Ximon Lee who has previously shown in New York and the Ukrainian Anton Belinskiy, as well as the London-based brand A.W.A.K.E. founded by the fashion director at Russian Harper's Bazaar, Natalia Alaverdian.

Another British-based brand, Marques'Almeida -- founded by the Portuguese pairing Marta Marques and Paulo Almeida -- has also swapped London for Paris.

Young Berlin-born designer Yolanda Zobel will also make her debut at futuristic French brand Courreges during the nine-day marathon of catwalk shows.