At this point, I don’t know if there are any words left to describe Celine Dion at Paris Fashion Week. We’ve already talked about her earnestness and enthusiasm and her giving all the f-cks and how it has made the too-cool assholes that we usually see at fashion week look like goddamn fools. We have already talked about how she’s able to turn the most pedestrian locations, like a door, or the silliest objects, like an Eiffel Tower souvenir, into posing opportunities.
We have already talked about how she owns all the feelings that have ever been felt, and has even invented some new feelings along the way. One feeling that we’ve all been having, that we don’t yet have a name for, is the extraordinary, heart-expanding delight that takes over us when we see Celine being Celine. Is it too much to call this feeling, simply, Celine?
I feel so Celine. So much Celine, especially yesterday seeing these pictures of Celine doing a photo shoot for VOGUE, putting all of her model feelings into every single shot. She is posing here as hard as she sings, as hard as she thumps her chest, as hard as she lunges. As VOGUE says, she wanted “to be treated like a model”. Read the caption:
"I want to be treated like a model," was the one condition Celine Dion set for the Vogue.com team at the outset of the week. And so today she is having her wish: right now, under the watchful eye of director Gordon von Steiner (@gvsgvs) and fashion editor Jorden Bickham (@jordenbickham), Celine is posing mightily and beautifully in the most exquisite and directional ensembles, such as this one from @dior haute couture. Pat McGrath (@patmcgrathreal) and Julien D'Ys (@juliendys), the ultimate model transformers, are working their magic. Pepe Munoz is also hard at work, illustrating every look, every move. In the words of Queen Pat, "It is MAJOR darling, MAJOR." (And it is quite possibly the first time the haute couture has been shot exclusively for digital, so that's also MAJOR!) Soon Celine and the Vogue.com team will be back at the Ritz to finish the shoot. If you happen to pass the Place Vendôme, do as Katy Perry did and say hello. And please come to @voguemagazine and Vogue.com later this month to see all that transpired when the brilliance of Celine met the ineffable beauty of couture on a sunny day in Paris. #CelineTakesCouture Photographed by @alvarocdc
Please. Her “wish”? Like they’re obliging her? F-ck you, obliging her. They should be so lucky to be in a position to oblige her. On a week when the fashion industry, and in particular Conde Nast, is getting so much sh-t for their practices, thanks to Lucinda Chambers’ scorched earth departure from British Vogue, who else is doing more for fashion week and VOGUE right now than Celine Dion, La Reine des Sentiments?
This photo shoot? It better be a f-cking cover of VOGUE. It better be the cover of the f-cking September issue, even though the timelines might be too tight at this point to turn it around in time. (Unless, of course, it’s Beyoncé.)
Celine Dion doesn't try to hide her feelings. Her candor is one of her many charms, coupled with lovely manners and an emotional transparency that's unique in anyone (let alone a global popstar for over 30 years). Last year at the haute couture show for Giambattista Valli, she sang, clapped, oohed and cooed, before ultimately going backstage post-show to weep with Giamba and his mama. "No one else was applauding," she recalls slightly sheepishly as she waits to enter the Petit Palais for this summer's Valli catwalk. She is joined by a featured dancer in her European show by the name of Pepe Munoz. Pepe is a Spaniard, originally from Malaga; he is also a budding fashion illustrator (@pepemunozillustrations). Celine was introduced to Pepe by Las Vegas show folks she knows through her butler's wife, who is a dancer herself. ("All the people I meet," says Dion of her Vegas social life, "are acrobats, dancers, or divers. That's family.") Now the two are fast pals, inseparable onstage (her in a jeweled, super-heroic unitard, him in his basic helpless hotness) and off. And so when, this season, Celine decides to express her exuberant enthusiasm for Valli's work it is by making flamenco hand signals to Pepe, who is across the aisle, and his front row neighbors, actress Rossy de Palma and the esteemed Spanish choreographer Blanca Li. And there are far too many runway winners to count. A delicate tiny floral tee-shirt of fully embroidered tulle worn with a collar or harness of black pailettes. Ball dresses of chantilly lace, pleated tulle, or broderie anglais, cut high in the front, trained in the back. This is a full-on Celine show in every sense. Celine's hands are twirling; Pepe's hands are Voguing; Rossy is inexplicably doing scissor kicks.... The models (the lucky ones!) are gliding by in ballet shoes, but the dancing is all going down in the seats. When it ends, Pepe is in tears. Blanca is in heaven. And Celine is saying that next year, if she is on tour in Europe, she will ask to have the whole week of the shows off from performing. "But they won't let me," she laughs, "for fear I will spend too much money!" #CelineTakesCouture Photographed by @denisetruscello.
"They see me; I don't see them," is Celine Dion's line on the great blob of paparazzi and fans that follows her everywhere. She gives them any picture they ask for, plus a great many more. Consider an appointment with at the house of Schiaparelli, where she poses for the creative director Bertrand Guyon on a window sill overlooking the Place Vendome. She wears a tiny whimsical dress of Swarovski chainmail re-embroidered with yet more crystals and high sparkly Victorian boots--a little Twiggy, a little Tina Turner. Says her dancer Pepe Munoz: "That's a rockstar!" Says Libby Hahn, who handles public relations for the house: "I am fairly certain she was a rockstar before she put on the dress." Says Celine's own longtime photographer Denise Truscello (a Canadian cinephile with her own rockstar style), thinking of the long lenses poised on the place below: "Is the dress pulled down in the back?" Says Celine Dion: "They might see my butt, but I don't think they mind." #CelineTakesCouture Photographed by @denisetruscello