Entertainment Celine Dion reinvents herself for a 2017 renaissance

Celine Dion reinvents herself for a 2017 renaissance

Celine Dion Met Gala
Canadian singer Celine Dion turned heads at the Met Gala this year before wowing the Paris fashion world. Photo: Getty
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It seems our hearts will go on when it comes to loving Celine Dion following a series of scene-stealing public appearances from the songstress, culminating in a elaborate photo shoot that’s set the fashion world on fire.

The Quebecoise singer is perhaps best known for belting out My Heart Will Go On on the bow of the Titanic, her ever-rotating wardrobe of ball gowns and her hair-raising pipes.

But after a 35-year career, 250 million album sales and a coveted Las Vegas casino residency, the singer appears to be staging a renaissance of a different kind in 2017.

It all started when the singer attended her first Met Gala in May this year, wearing a bespoke Versace gown with a thigh-high split and a spiked headpiece that could take your eye out.

On the red carpet she told E! she had insisted the gown have a deep pocket to hold her invitation, tissue, driver’s license and a passport in case no one at the door recognised her.

“I would have started singing in the middle of the street,” she told the reporter in feigned desperation.

The 49-year-old icon has since been a regular at the Paris Couture Week, posed nude on Instagram and, this week, starred in an elaborate cover shoot for the US Vogue magazine.

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. Shoes—always heels, never platforms—are 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.

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Trying on ensembles fresh from the Paris runway, the Canadian diva models Christian Dior, Valentino, Chanel and a cotton-candy inspired pink tulle gown by Giambattista Valli at the Ritz Hotel in Paris.

In a video of the shoot she sits at a vanity and croons about her new image, “People thought they know me/ People thought they saw me/Nothing yet,” while an assistant places an epic Marie Antoinette wig on her head.

Directed by Gordon von Steiner with fashion editing by Jordan Bickham, the video captures the theme of the singer’s francophone album Encore un Soir, with a romantic night in Paris.

Ms Dion struts to Boney M’s ‘Daddy Cool’ in a busy Parisian restaurant and dances on a barge along the River Seine.

“She’s crazy like a fool, what about Daddy cool?” is the catch-cry of the new style sensation.

Social media has been abuzz with praise for Ms Dion’s “slaying” fashion performance, while others have poked fun at the video’s lavishness.

It has many wondering if the new look is to keep up with a much younger man, with French news outlets suggesting Ms Dion is in the throes of a new relationship.

Ms Dion lost her husband of 21 years, Canadian musical producer, talent manager and singer Rene Angelil, to cancer in 2016. He famously mortgaged his home to fund her first record.

Rumours circulated about a new beau after she was photographed walking the streets of Paris with one of her dancers, 32-year-old Pepe Munoz.

The relationship is yet to be confirmed, but an image on Thursday showed the pair holding hands and laughing during a visit to the Louvre.

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