A few years ago, when the word “Céline” was uttered in fashionable circles, people would assume it was a reference to Céline the fashion brand. Inevitably a conversation would break out about how much everyone wanted a Céline bag and how they had been eyeing a used one on eBay, do you think it’s fake though? But all along there was another Céline hiding in the shadows — and over the past year, she’s finally reclaimed her position in the spotlight: Welcome to the Céline Dionaissance.
Although Céline Dion has made some memorable style choices in the past — remember the backward white John Galliano tuxedo she wore to the Oscars in 1999? — her outfits were often more flashy than chic (which was fitting, as she spent most of her life on stage). But after she started working with stylist Law Roach (who also styles Zendaya) in the spring of 2016, something shifted. She had just lost her beloved husband René Angélil — with whom she had been working since she was only 12 years old — after a long battle with cancer that January. After months of mourning, Dion slowly started making media appearances to talk about her grief and her struggle to move on. Eventually, she made her way to Paris last July, where she was spotted at couture week having a veritable fashion coming-out party.
The musical icon sat front row at Christian Dior and Giambattista Valli, gave enthusiastic double thumbs-up to designs she loved, and even yelled out “Bravo!” while giving a standing ovation after one of the shows. She was the first person to wear Demna Gvasalia’s designs for Balenciaga, and we saw her in looks from Jil Sander and Virgil Abloh’s label Off-White. She even wore a Titanic-themed Vetements sweatshirt that sent fashionable tongues wagging. At the time, French Vogue hailed her “new fashion credibility” — and she’s spent the last year proving them right.
At the Grammys in February, Dion rocked a Dynasty-esque emerald green Zuhair Murad gown with a deep V and bow belt. And shortly afterward, in May, she stole the show at the Met Gala in a black-and-silver Atelier Versace gown — making the bathroom-smoking fashion crowd look like absolute bores by posing joyfully for the cameras, holding her shoe up to her ear like a telephone in a memorable Vogue photo-booth shoot, and singing as she walked through the hallowed museum halls. Later that month, she celebrated the 20th anniversary of “My Heart Will Go On” at the Billboard Awards in an angel-winged white Stephane Rolland Haute Couture gown, of which her stylist Roach said, ”You will remember her performance and her voice, but you will also remember her dress. No doubt about it.”
Even outside of awards shows, Dion is treating the world as her runway, thanks to Roach’s influence. During her current European tour, she’s been photographed daily wearing bold designs during her brief walks from her hotel to her awaiting car. Every week brings more amazing looks. We’ve seen her in a matching floral Roberto Cavalli trench, blazer, and wide-leg pants (with a pattern so gaudy it shouldn’t work, but somehow looks chic on her). There was also the black baggy faux-leather Givenchy overalls, which she paired with a flowy white blouse, Kanye West x Giuseppe Zanotti pearl sandals, and sunglasses so huge, they looked like rhinestone-studded goggles. And of course, who could forget the Balmain snakeskin trench with a tiger T-shirt and suede pant-boots she was spotted in last week?
So it’s official: A new day (finally) has come. We’re living in an era in which “Céline” once again has two meanings in the fashion world. And we can’t wait to see what the Canadian queen will wear next.