New York – “Well everyone has expressed my shock and horreur at seeing YSL mangled in this way. I thought the previous collection was a bit of a commercial rehash but this one seems like a very expensive exercise in navel gazing.I can’t imagine someone having been hired to do this job get it so wrong – but then M. Slimane would not be the first designer who confuses his client’s brand identity with his own – wishful thinking perhaps. In the meantime Hermes is going to be laughing all the way to the bank – their collection was elegant ( suddenly it seems so modern to be elegant) timeless and about quality.”
“I believe Ms.Horyn did not attend the show…Mr.Wilson covered it.I think it is quite chic of her not to even utter one word on this dreadful collection…sometimes silence is so much stronger than words!”
” Heidi Slimane is a fashion snob who thinks of himself as a fashion God. Looks like he just bought these pieces from the LA thrift stores and salvation army and cut them with similar fabrics from some expensive Italian mills.”
“I always thought Stefano Pilati did a great job at YSL, as he did a lot of work under TF. This collection is a bloody disaster. Time for him to leave LA for Paris!”
“That’s what people are forgetting… YSL had IDEAS behind all his ‘rebellion’. Great ones at that. He wasn’t just posing as a rockstar. Where’s Mr. Slimane’s ideas? All I see is re-worked Anna Sui. And it was a different time. High fashion needed to come down to the street back then…but, mission accomplished! Several decades ago, in fact. The only way fashion could ever get MORE ‘street’ is if it went six feet under.”
“The real show is tomorrow at 10:30,” another editor said.
“I feel like he’s playing a huge joke on the entire fashion industry,” one more said.
“Don’t underestimate her,” sassed the editor of an indie European fashion magazine, the her being a him.
“It’s haute couture made grunge,” Kirsten Dunst said. “It’s very L.A.”
Suffice it to say, the collection shown Monday night by Hedi Slimane, his second women’s ready-to-wear since taking over the house of Yves Saint Laurent label (which he renamed Saint Laurent after establishing his design studio in Los Angeles, rather than Paris), will be as divisive as his first. The scene was roughly the same, perhaps a bit friendlier and inclusive of more editors, but not all of them. Guests took their seats in a darkened gallery, straining to see the famous people. Pierre Bergé came with Betty Catroux, Ms. Dunst with Garrett Hedlund, Jamie Hince with Alison Mosshart and Sky Ferreira. Jessica Chastain, who appears in YSL fragrance ads, arrived in a bright red dress.
Mr. Slimane’s first collection was a tribute to California boho chic, with long flowing dresses, caftans and floppy hats. His second was also rooted in California, this time looking at the aesthetic of grunge, namely Courtney Love baby doll dresses under Kurt Cobain flannel shirts, set to a loud “Tidal Wave 13” by Thee Oh Sees. The dresses were universally short, often black leather minis, worn with fishnet body stockings studded with crystals and Mr. Slimane’s version of a black combat boot, covered with small metal spikes. A whole army of black leather dresses closed the show.
Many editors present did not appear to be in love with the concept, but there were many pieces that looked commercially lucrative at the same time, like fuzzy tartan cardigans, a black tuxedo jacket, an oversize sparkly black cable-knit sweater, a gray duffel coat and another take on the gold sparkly cardigan jacket. The connection of grunge to Mr. Saint Laurent was less clear, though he did once produce a fragrance called Baby Doll, and a pink fur coat in Mr. Slimane’s show seemed a nod to a famous fox coat design of the early 1970s called the “chubby.”
Well, now that we have that out of the way, lets all get constructive and try to save YSL from its current Design
Dictator,…..er Director. But before we do this, let us bow our heads in remembrance of what YSL once was.
Now that we have finished wiping our tears after weeping about the complete and utter destruction of a fabulous fashion legacy, let us began to understand why.
Money, Greed,Ignorance, and Arrogance.
It all started one day when I had heard through the fashion grape vine that Mr. Slimane was rebranding Yves Saint Laurent into simply Saint Laurent. When I heard this I distinctly remembered a silent anger boiling in my ‘fashion soul’. How dare he try to ‘scrape clean’ a legacy that is synonymous across this world for elegance,beauty, and fashion refinement, as if he was scraping the barnacles off of the hull of one his well heeled friend’s yacht.
…curiously no one said anything, and I expected as much.
Fast forward to this “visual colostomy bag” of a show and now I am glad , in a strange way, that our dear Yves was not attached to this ‘collection’. To say that I HATE the Fall 2013 Looks from Saint Laurent is an exercise in cordial restraint. Let me say this, if I where to sit down with Mr. Slimane, It would NOT be to congratulate him, but instead, in silence, I would lead him to the design studio, and we would began to sketch in silence. A silence that is so deafening, so profound that he would began to understand what damage he has done to this valuable fashion institution. I would then hand over my sketches to him, many of them would be a modern stylings,designs based on layered chiffons , intensely tailored suits, beautiful Boucle’ beaded jackets, ethereal gowns and party dresses that seemed as if the came from another world. Structured pants,beautifully cut leathers used only as accent fabrications, all under the RESPECTFUL homage of Yves and the house he created with his brilliant talent so many years ago. This is what a designer does when he is hired to design for an established design house, he goes back to the vaults, studies the master, collaborating in spirit with what has come before he was born, then create something new and beautiful BASED on this collaboration. This process is spiritual, its beautiful, but one is to NEVER deviate from it because its a sacred form of respect and reverence for what has come before you.
Mr. Slimane, where is your respect, why were you allowed to do this?
You may have noticed, I don’t have any stills from the recent show. My answer to that is that they don’t belong here, just as what walked down the runway does NOT belong under the label of YVES Saint Laurent.