The biggest takeaway from Hedi Slimane’s debut at Celine last week was, predictably, “Bring back Phoebe Philo.” In the same way MF Doom or Rakim is your “favorite rapper’s favorite rapper,” Philo was certainly a designer’s designer. To see her go was one thing; to see her displaced by the Slimane—whose appeal mostly lies in his ability to double the sales of a given house with hyper skinny jeans and reworked rock n’ roll aesthetics—was fashion nerd blasphemy. As the Financial Times pointed out, he’s brought basically the same look to three different brands now (Dior Homme, Saint Laurent, Celine)–just give the guy his own damn label already. Who would complain?

But with the Philo-eulogizing out of the way, there was a secondary take that many critics seemed to agree upon: We’re about to see a renaissance of kids ditching hoodies and sweats and finally wearing suits again. You don’t even need to take this writer’s word for it alone. Sarah Mower, reviewing the Celine runway show for Vogue, believes that:

[W]ith Kim Jones at Dior Homme and Virgil Abloh driving Louis Vuitton menswear, a new front is being opened in tailoring. In this new venture, that might be where Slimane’s skinny-suited, narrow-tied tailoring could score big. There was not a sneaker in sight. If there really is a swing away from hoodies and track pants in progress, Slimane’s proposition—classic New Wave tailoring—could be where kids go next.

There’s a point to be made there. Abloh’s show was indeed tailoring-heavy, yet the silhouettes couldn’t be more different than Slimane’s. That said, both Abloh and Slimane clearly crafted collections centered around (their perspectives) on suiting. Two designers approaching the same trend from a different angle could be an indication it might stick. Raf Simons makes a third. After a Spring/Summer 2019 show full of delicate, satin suiting, he commented that tailoring for men was in dire need of revival.“We need it! We need a new outline. I know I was part of it myself, but too many hoodies with prints! You know, something needs to shift,” said Simons.

That’s a fair gesture, even if some of his printed hoodies are still on the rack at Opening Ceremony at this very moment. Sport- and streetwear have dominated the men’s fashion conversation for at least the past five years and trends—particularly in fashion—are cyclical. Inevitably, there will be a breaking point. Are we ready to go back to the glory days when we got snooty about pick-stitching on peak lapels? When it was cool to have feelings about half-canvassed suit jackets?

No, we’re not. This writer, however, wishes we were. Personally, I love blazers and suits to the point of inventing excuses to wear them. But the current dressed-down state of menswear isn’t just another trend we can count on eventually fading away. In the past 10 years, there’s been major changes not only in the way men dress or what workplaces expect them to wear but further the way men purchase and even think about clothes. There’s numerous factors at play, that in conjunction make it very unlikely for tailoring to stage a real comeback–central to which is the pervasiveness of the sneaker.

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Tags: sneakers, celine, hedi-slimane