This Ain’t Her First Time on Rodeo: Céline Beverly Hills
I’ve been driving past an intriguing billboard for History Channel’s Vikings plastered on the side of a building on Sunset for weeks now but have so much on my plate with work and trying to just keep up with Dallas and RuPaul’s Drag Race that I was reluctant to get involved. Come a quiet last Saturday night at home, however, our DVR well went dry and what should we land upon but Vikings? At first, it looked a bit like Game of Thrones without the lighting or costume budgets but it seems that, given the intricately interwoven storylines in that HBO series, it’s a lot easier to follow.
The main thing going down when we tuned in was an old Viking Establishment-type dude trying to get a Viking Rebel guy with a crazy mohawk to take the fall for his illegitimate brother’s murder. The Rebel guy goes, “But he was raping my wife!” And the wife pipes in and says, “Yeah, he was trying to rape me but I’m the one who killed the bastard.” (If you remember, raping was big in Viking times.) Then the Establishment dude says, “You’re both lying sacks of shit!” but, like, more eloquently. And finally a dreamy Viking hunk comes out of nowhere and sets the whole record straight. To be honest, I’m not really sure what he said because I was thinking about how there was no way in hell there were any guys that hot in 950 A.D.
In totally unrelated news, I’d earlier visited Céline’s new Beverly Hills boutique, which is quite lovely even if my first encounter with the airy space at 319 Rodeo Drive was a little awkward. Rather than pulling the big glass door in, a very attractive security guy opened it the other way and I had to squeeze past him through the doorway. The scenario repeated on my way out. He was cute so I’m not complaining but put anyone else I couldn’t imagine playing tonsil hockey with in there and we’re going to have problems.
Once I’d made it in, I was greeted cheerfully by a queeny guy in glasses who smiled and offered to answer any questions. This was a nice change from my recent inaugural visit to the newly refurbished Dior boutique a few doors down where a pretty Persian girl coolly murmured “hi” when I came in then silently followed me around, staring at me like I was going to steal something. The vibe at Céline was refreshingly light and relaxed even though the massive pier of pale green onyx that shores up the center of the space and the spare presentation of the clothes could have made it seem more of a museum. To put it more accurately, it has the feeling of a cool museum where you can drink.
Though the accessories seem to be doing the big business, the clothes themselves were the highlight of my visit, beautifully constructed without being fussy. Unfinished edges, ever so slightly frayed on many of the pieces, gave an ease to the collection even if the folding and impeccable proportions had a couture feel. Céline goods have been notoriously difficult to come by in L.A. in the years since the shuttering of the previous Rodeo boutique, so my first impression of this collection was solely from the shows. I’m happy to say that my preconceived idea that this was going to be a bunch of beautiful pyjamas for day and evening was totally upended. True, there are not many fitted pieces but the construction is admirable, as epitomized by a sleeveless, origami-pleated top that keeps popping into my head. On the other hand, there are blouses of the thinnest lambskin in color blocked green and black that looked so skinny through the arms that I’m wondering who will be able to get into them. I guess not everything is so relaxed and easy, after all. That reminds me, they also have those mink pumps that were the WTF moment for many fashion critics this season. They’re priced at a mere $4,750 but that’s for the left and the right shoe, so hey!
I don’t really know what to tell you about the upcoming fall collection except that it appeared kind of, um, wooly. As usual, most of the fashion press couldn’t vomit enough praise on it, but the jury is out for me this time until I see that fuzzy shit for myself.