CÉLINE have revealed their icon, poster girl, and all out girl crush for SS15, and it’s none other than the aptly iconic Joan Didion.
Alongside French ballet dancer and choreographer Marie-Agnès Gillot and British model Freya Lawrence, she is one third of a truly inspiring group of women. This decision is in no way unusual or unexpected for Phoebe Philo, in her role as Creative Director of the brand, given her proclivity to featuring strong, intellectual, and visionary women in this role.
Philo and Didion do also seem to share the same philosophy on effortless capsule dressing, but we doubt this was the only reason behind this selection. Didion’s career spans decades and includes both fiction and non-fiction, which examine some of the seminal moments in American history. Two of her best known works, Slouching Towards Bethlehem, published in 1968, and The White Album, published in 1979, are most likely on the reading list of every cool girl, literature fan, and university graduate you know. Her affinity with fashion dates back to 1961 when her essay titled “Self-respect: Its Source, Its Power,” was published in the pages of Vogue. We think this, if nothing else, is well worth a read.
Notably there are some distinct similarities between Didion and the previous and current faces of CÉLINE, the best known of which is Daria Werbowy. Look no further than Didion’s achingly cool portrait by Julien Wasser (who also photographed Roman Polanski and Robert F. Kennedy) of her leaning out of the driver’s seat of her own Corvette Stingray, and compare it with the shot taken of Daria Werbowy for CÉLINE’s recent campaign: Same timeless knit, same relaxed self-commanding repose, same effect on the viewer. We all want to be that woman or admire her.
Some of the other portraits of Didion from the same series by Wasser, commisioned by TIME magazine, show a young Didion in a long-sleeved dress and sandals, standing in front of the same Corvette Stingray, a cigarette dangling from her right hand. For all intents and purposes, what James Dean did for pop culture, in 1968 Didion did for the literary hemisphere. Decades later, it’s clear that she still continues to use her sartorial and intellectual sway to arresting effect.