What is Hedi Slimane’s mandate at Saint Laurent? Without a clearunderstanding of purpose, it’s difficult to review his fall collectionin a lucid way.
Typically, when a designer takes over a storiedhouse, said mandate is, at least in part, to air out and freshen up,ditching the dated while transforming the best of the founder’siconography into modern wonders that entice the global customer to buythe clothes, but if not the clothes, then the real moneymakers — bags,shoes, fragrance. Yet does it have to be that way? If a woman loves adress, does she really care if she can draw a straight line back to herown mental archive of the founder’s work? Probably not.
Thecollection Slimane showed on Monday night didn’t shout, whisper or evenmouth the words Saint Laurent. But (blasphemous though it may ring tothose who worship at the YSL altar), to do so might not be thedesigner’s mandate. Word around Paris is that the company brass wantsthe collection to skew younger in look in the hopes of engaging ayounger customer. Consider that done. Surely one cannot miss theubiquity of Seventies-ish floppy hats around this city, both at theshows and elsewhere — a trend traceable to Slimane’s spring runway.
Noneof which explains his fall collection. Continuing from his terrificmen’s collection, he worked a grunge theme, “California Grunge” to bespecific. It was all about little dresses — baby dolls, high-collaredschoolgirls, scoop-necked Lolitas — under the cover of big, sloppycardigans and woolly mufflers with interludes of leather-based sexpotsthat swung toward biker babe. What there was, in droves: a sense of thedesigner’s bravado. The man has guts. In absentia: the hallowed originalthought, though one is reminded of Coco Chanel’s admonition, “Onlythose with no memory insist on their originality.” Still, he missed thechance to take a motif well-entrenched in fashion’s public domain andmake it his own.
Then there’s the issue of using expensiveclothes to achieve a deliberately down-market attitude. But Slimaneisn’t the first designer to elevate a bargain-bin look to luxury prices —that, too, is a fashion standard, though he could have pushed the ironyof that ruse more obviously. And yes, there were clothes that theretailers who loved Slimane’s debut collection for spring will loveagain, notably the leather jackets, a few coats and many of the dresses,virtually all charming and some, obviously expensive, such as the lastlook out, an allover embroidered A-line dress with pristine whitecollar.
Few archetypes are more engaging than the undone girl,especially when under her ratty hair, pout, pounding gait and sloppychic lurk a pretty face and skinny body. But is playing a cutesy,disaffected-youth hand enough to propel the house of Saint Laurent intotoday’s luxury stratosphere — especially if the targeted air space isthat in which Chanel and Dior reside? That, too, remains a question.
From overseeing America’s fastest-growing speciality retailers to codifying cool, WWD talked to the women who are leading the way for the future of beauty. Check out our Instagram Stories to see how these women built today and are creating tomorrow. (📸: @hannah_khymych) #wwdbeauty
For @laperlalingerie's spring 2018 show, the brand chose to host their event at @thevenetianmacao. With Chinese megastars @bingbing_fan and @hubing in attendance, La Perla debuted a rock ‘n’ roll-inspired collection. The show marked the start of Sands Macao Fashion Week, which runs from October 19 to 24 — the city’s first such event. Pictured here are models backstage with glimmering eyes. #wwdfashion (📷: Cheuk-Yin To)
Trending for spring 2018: top stitch design. Gone are the days of stitch just for seams — designers are using the once-minimal detail to create strong decorative elements. (📷: Paola Testa; Styled by @andrew_shang) #wwdfashion
@tradesy is turning the concept of a showroom upside down with its new space in Santa Monica. Here, the company plans to hold events, art exhibits and a showcase rare fashion pieces like this Louis Vuitton boxing set. Get all the details on Tradesy’s first showroom on WWD.com. #wwdnews
Spotted last night at the @erdem x @hm launch event: Kate Bosworth, Rashida Jones, Kirsten Dunst and Selma Blair. The party, which took place in LA, also marked the opening of their pop-up shop. “I was interested in creating a collection that wasn’t in any way disposable. It was about pieces you’d create and keep forever, things that have a permanence to it,” designer Erdem Moralioglu said. #wwdeye (📷: Katie Jones)
Renee Zellweger in yellow in 2001 and again in 2017. Chosen as one of the 12 @pantone Leading Spring Colors (and dubbed “Meadowlark”), it only makes sense that the bright hue stands the test of time and is making a resurgence this season, seen already on stars like @blakelively and @gigihadid. (📷: Donato Sardello & @rexfeatures) #wwdfashion #tbt
Dior’s 70th anniversary celebration continues with a new exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. “Christian Dior,” which is scheduled to run through March 18, takes a look at the founders tenure from 1947 to 1057 and feature 40 designs. Pictured here is an evening gown from the Ailée, fall 1948-49 haute couture collection. #wwdfashion (📷: Brian Boyle)