(CNN)Celine Dion is known for penchant for haute couture, but her latest look is extremely stripped down.
Here's a little naked fact to ponder while Celine Dion changes looks between shows: for the past five years she has worn haute couture near exclusively for her own performances (in Las Vegas and on her current "mini-tour" of Europe). She performs a minimum two hours a night, five or six nights a week, dancing and curtseying and generally gesticulating sans abandon, in handmade, hand-beaded delicacies designed solely to walk a catwalk or a carpet (and often with handlers). For Celine's orders, the houses send teams to Nevada for typically three fittings, before the garments are ultimately finished in her local, private atelier. Armani Prive, Schiaparelli, Giambattista Valli, Versace…only a partial list. Everyone, basically. In Vegas, Velcro panels are added to allow for her ribcage to expand or for a quick outfit change. Micro straps of elasticized chiffon prevent a slit from becoming a sloppy situation mid-squat. Shoesalways heels, never platformsare ordered one size smaller (she is normally a 38) and refitted with metal shanks. Says Celine, "We have to make haute couture industrial." And, more enigmatically: "The clothes follow me; I do not follow the clothes." Which is to say: the haute couture, with all its fragility and handcraft, has to perform professionally for Ms. Dion. And privately as well. Years ago, Celine bought a classic little black dress from the Christian Dior atelier when the house was overseen by John Galliano. It is simple, falling to mid calf, and narrow as can be with just a hint of stretch. It requires a minimum of jewelry, a statement bracelet or perhaps one of the major diamond rings she designed with her late husband Rene Angelil: two pear cuts set in a wide pave band, or two hearts of diamond and emerald abstractly interlocking, on a cushion of yet more diamonds. This LBD forces you to walk one foot in front of the other. This is a dress Celine knows well and clearly loves, the simplest evocation of the private luxury of couture and the total antithesis of the red carpet hoopla that attends the union of fashion and celebrity. It is also the dress she wore to Rene's funeral. #CelineTakesCouture Photo by @sophfei.
"What is making the people who are interested in fashion now interested in me when I have always been interested in fashion?" So asks Celine Dion en route to the Christian Dior haute couture show, security guards in tow. She wears a tunic and mid calf skirt, tucked and belted and elevated by thigh high black boots. She has done her own makeup–as is her way–but her precise and dramatic eye contouring is obscured by the massive Dior gold shades selected by her stylist Law Roach (@luxurylaw). ("Why did you make me wear makeup if I was going to wear glasses like this?") Celine began working with Law a little over a year ago, after her husband Rene passed and she began the long road of living again with great loss of a partner ("an amazing man") but also the incredible blessing of "the quality of the time we spent together." More on that later. For now it is enough to know that while Law may have contributed to the answer to Celine's original question–why dion mania now?–the answer clearly lies with the lady herself. She keeps a master file divided into mini files of pages torn from magazines. She circles looks from collections special issues, turns down pages, and despairs when a look or accessory is not produced and the sample unbuyable. Celine Dion knows clothes. (She is also at a point in her life where she can enjoy them. Going to a fashion show "gives me a bit of freedom when my life has been work, discipline, hard hard work.") Today at @dior there was a little work (celebrity gridlock in and out, intense heat which is never ideal with leather) and a lot of fun. Celine admires Ruth Bell's gamine crop ("I really want a haircut like that"), the flatform boots ("the strength today!"), a wool coat dress for day with an open assymetric neckline ("like a calla lily"), the mousseline peering out from the long belted coats. After she said, "I forgot the jungle, the theme, I don't care. I am not buying the animals, the trees. But the clothes?" she smiles. "I am already broke." More on that later, and the significance of one legendary CD to another…. #CelineTakesCouture Photo by @sophfei.
"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
Celine Dion is frustrated by fashion's current revolving door policy, the relentless firings and hirings at the top (amen to that!). She is concerned that "the dream" of elegance is disappearing, for as much fun as she had in her beloved Vetements Titanic sweatshirt (and we have Law Roach for that brilliant post-ironic gesture!), she believe in the magic of hats, gloves and total looks, of a world in which Lisa Fonssagrives could step from the pages of Vogue and through the doors of today's Ritz. Mostly she laments the red carpet hordes with the incessant questions about whose clothes and jewels one is wearing. "Mine" is her answer. Fashion is public for Celine; jewelry is personal. Sometimes, when she is at home in Las Vegas and missing her partner Rene, she slips on a caftan and all her jewels, and quietly retreats to her bath, sans children, sans fans, sans circus. #CelineTakesCouture Photo by @sophfei.
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