We’ll place our bets now: Hedi Slimane‘s fall collection for Saint Laurent will be by far the most polarizing of Paris Fashion Week. Are you on board with the grungy new look, or do you side with the critics who saw the show as an abomination?
While last season was not short on conflict itself, with the much-contested name change and full-scale rebranding, open letter debacle, and whispered comparisons to Rachel Zoe, the designer upped the ante this time around with a collection that tossed everything we’ve come to expect from the venerated house clean out the window.
There was little trace of the founder’s legacy to be found yesterday amidst the minidresses, plaid flannels, and Liberty florals — those “Ain’t Laurent Without Yves” tees are no doubt flying off the virtual shelves as we speak — with the designer instead taking his cue from Courtney Love and grungy California teenagers. Front row, Yves’ old friend Catherine Deneuve sat “faintly open-mouthed”, according to Vogue‘s Hamish Bowles, and if the Twitter reaction was any indication, others were flat-out agape.
But if Slimane is anything, it’s sure of his vision, and you get the sense that he revels in the shock value of sending a collection down the Paris runway that looks fit for a Coachella campsite.
And shock he most certainly did. Bowles, having penned a history of the late designer, managed to find some links to his oeuvre, but he didn’t seem impressed with Slimane’s interpretation:
“But a lot of the collection seemed, as the French say, premier degré, meaning, perhaps, a tad too literal, like a leopard-spot coat with more than the whiff of the thrift store to it, or a perfectly nice gray duffle that seemed, well, like a perfectly nice grey duffle—even invested with Cara Delevingne’s tough-chic attitude.”
“There was no job on the line, no sense of present danger, with Slimane’s collection today. And with regards to that adjustment, there was no expert skirting of nostalgia. Almost nothing looked new. Which didn’t trouble Alexandra Richards, Alison Mosshart, and Sky Ferreira in the least. Such dream clients were all thrilled by what they’d seen.”
Finally (although this was the kind of show that put everyone on their soapboxes), the Times Eric Wilson quoted unnamed editors who quipped “I suddenly feel very old,” and “The real show is tomorrow at 10:30.” Cathy Horyn, so deeply embroiled in the Saint Laurent hullabaloo last October, has, tellingly, stayed mum on the subject so far.
See images from the collection and watch the video below:
this is some kind of spaceship or something.