Natalie Portman Flies The Flag For Hedi Slimane’s Celine : Dakota Johnson was first out of the accentless Celine gate. The actor wore a red sequinned minidress from Hedi Slimane’s debut collection for the French house at the LA premiere of Suspiria. It was a bold salute to a designer who generated a hefty amount of headlines after his Paris show, and the work of Johnson’s stylist Kate Young, who is a force to be reckoned with. She knows how to get her clients column inches, too.
Second up, it was Natalie Portman’s turn. But, while her Hollywood colleague chose a short, shimmering design that was resolutely Slimane’s, Portman went down the understated tailoring route. She chose a cream sequinned shirt and classic black separates for the 2018 IndieWire Honours in LA, and reminded the industry that Slimane’s rock ‘n’ roll suiting is what originally amassed his cult following when he worked at Dior Homme.
Portman, a Dior ambassador, rarely wears anything other than the brand she is contractually obligated to. She’s a Dior woman through and through, but when she does step out of her comfort zone, she does so for a reason. A turn in fabulous gold sequinned Gucci at the 2018 Venice Film Festival premiere of Vox Lux, for example, made a statement because she rarely deviates from black. Rather than do the red carpet of a musical drama by halves, she went full throttle in the most zeitgeisty brand doing glamour at the moment.
And so, Portman could have gone to any fashion house for a slick suit befitting her event but, like Johnson, she’s also got a power stylist working behind-the-scenes – Karla Welch.
The bell sleeve dress is in keeping with Slimane’s design signatures: short, shimmering, with a plunging V-neck and a vixenish ruffle for an extra oomph of ’80s glamour. What makes Johnson’s dress stand out — at least within Slimane’s work — is its colour. Amid Slimane’s parade of mostly black minis and suits, there were just six colourful dresses, and only one in red. It’s also fitting that the star chose the bold hue as it also happens to be a leitmotif in the Luca Guadagnino-directed film. The actress kept her accessories simple, choosing romantic Sophie Buhai drop earrings and Giuseppe Zanotti sandals.