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.

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