On Saint Laurent

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by Leandra Medine
March 5, 2013
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Let’s join the conversation, guys!

Twitter reactions (based on the Saint Laurent hash tag and not on the caliber of person posting) to Hedi Slimane’s second women’s ready-to-wear collection for Saint Laurent included the following:

“What the hell is Hedi Slimane thinking?”

“Oh my dear Lord. Is this Saint Laurent, or an average girls high street wardrobe? I want to cry.”

“What the hell happened to YSL? I’ve seen people on skid row dressed better.”

“We did not need a Rachel Zoe x Marc Jacobs grunge resort collection.”

“Saint Laurent show, a huge joke on the fashion industry?”

“Women’s Wear Daily reports that Saint Laurent is relocating their Paris studios. Hopefully they don’t tell Hedi where they’re going.”

I feel badly for Slimane. He’s had his ass handed to him by effectively everyone–even his fans. For all the editorial reviews that have tried to gather whatever beauty and raison d’etre is evident in his collection, camps of protestors have shown up in virtual armies at the comment feeds to refute the findings. Any comment of praise has been met with a biting, “but,” and no matter how literate, intellectual, articulate and authentic the positive reviews could have been, it just doesn’t seem to matter.

It’s true that Slimane may be taking a liberal breadth of creative license in his work for Saint Laurent, but if the re-branding and subsequent dropping of the household ‘Yves’ in Saint Laurent last season was an indication of anything, it was that Slimane’s vision would likely differ phenomenally from that of the late Yves’. So, yes, Slimane is certainly not to Saint Laurent what Raf Simons has proven to Christian Dior. But his creative departure from what’s expected at YSL can just as easily be viewed as a continuation of great House tradition.

In Alicia Drake’s book, The Beautiful Fall, a wonderful portrayal mirroring the careers of Karl Lagerfeld and Yves Saint Laurent in 1970s, Saint Laurent is credited as having popularized ready-to-wear in 1966 as a means to “democratize fashion.” Lest we forget, Yves Saint Laurent invented Le Smoking–a novel nod to androgynous dressing that maintained the antiquated spirit of feminine elegance.

Isn’t this precisely what Slimane is trying to do? Appeal to a different, perhaps larger, audience? The democratization of fashion at YSL in 1966 is not so different from the shift we’re seeing at Saint Laurent now. The underlying problem here, I believe, is that it seems like we’re way past the point of democratization. (Especially, when referring to a fashion house with such an extensive aura of highbrow radiating around it).

The concept of ready-to-wear has migrated far away from the original meaning of fashion-friendly “ready-to-wear,” and if the future of ready-to-wear remains — for lack of a better term — ready to wear, should it be ready to wear now?

One of the most beautiful things in fashion is that element of personal exploration. What is more refreshing than hating a collection at first runway glance (case in point: Hedi Slimane for Saint Laurent, season one) and finding yourself having grown to love it over the interim before the clothes hit sales floors? That’s an astute testament to evolving personal style, personal point of view, personal perception. Ultimately, Slimane’s spring suiting, suede and those ineffable leather jackets are the clearest indication that you can’t fake good fabric and that you can’t fake authentic artistry.

And you know what? In spite of my having loved the Fall collection (which, I did, and would effectively besiege the previous paragraph’s sentiment), I wholly applaud the aspect of realism and Slimane’s apparent hunger to modernize the brand.

Here’s the thing of it, though, I’m not Saint Laurent’s chic, overwhelmingly wealthy, French customer; I’m a groupie on the sidelines. So, what do I make of that? Does that chic, French customer even actually exist anymore? Have people expressed violent disinterest in the collection because it doesn’t appear to cater to that customer? Are we afraid that this disheveled girl is the new prototypical woman? And is that a sad, difficult conclusion to draw? Yes, maybe we’re in denial.

Clearly, I’m confused. Please, impart your wisdom.

Additional rhetoric provided by Charlotte Fassler

REPLIES
  • EM

    I agree- the problem in part seems to be that the collection is TOO accessible to the masses

  • monkeyshines

    gorgeous details!

    monkeyshines
    http://monkeyshines-monkeyshines.blogspot.com/

  • M

    To me? It was just “beige”. May I also add that it was a bit…’Zara’?

    • P.

      To be more specific it was TRF circa 2008

    • P.

      More like TRF circa 2008

  • Denise

    oh Leandra, it seems you are genuinely interested on not losing the freebies and the invitations for his future shows.

    • Leandra Medine

      This is my attempt to invite conversation on what will inevitably become a piece of YSL’s history–Not that it matters, but I don’t work with Saint Laurent.

      • Voza

        I understand that you like it because it’s very close to your aesthetics but let’s be honest you don’t need to buy anything from that collection to replicate his style proposal. Leandra, this means you can be in charge of Saint Laurent. Do us a favour, put the Yves back and move to Paris to work on the collections.

    • Greer Clarke

      Geez she’s just a writer, writers gon write

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=560350292 Sabrina Stabbath

        Yeah but remember how manny ‘writers’ get free sh*t! Isn’t that what blogging is about these days? Working yourself up the food chain so they can buy/ receive more expensive clothing?

    • Tatiana Popovitchenko

      Hasn’t everyone here been saying you can buy most of these pieces (or ones very similar) in H&M anyway? Maybe it is more about why design a collection like this in the first place.

  • http://www.professionallypetite.com Elissa

    I don’t think the nipple was really necessary – not you posting it, but the designer creating a mesh/crochet piece with no bra/undershirt just for shock value and putting it on the runway. No one is going to buy that shit.

  • lillady

    What masses would want to wear these? Not the masses on the Street. Nor would I imagine anyone in France or Dubai or China or wherever the rich (Y)SL customers are want to wear these. It was an ugly collection. A total miss.

  • clé

    it seemed absent any true nod to st. laurent’s artistic legend. i get the mass but the artistry is a mess.

  • KatWalkSF

    It’s just not the same without the Y
    http://www.katwalksf.com

  • Marina Casapu

    I don’t like the plaid , but I love the details on those boots and the web-like dress is amazing!

  • Courtney

    Slimane wanted to make headlines. To think his bosses aren’t in on the joke is naive. I cannot stand the collection, but he’s getting what they all want : PRESS. (I do think some of the pieces suffer from the styling, those beaded dresses are stunning…)

    • chrisliu0

      Yes, that’s what I said, about styling, in my uber long post. Doing something this perverse and shocking will get him where he wants to go in terms of press.

  • @chrisliu0

    If you had shown me the clothes and not told me where it had come from I wouldn’t have said it was Saint Laurent, or even Yves Saint Laurent. It’s super wearable and in that respect it’s a continuation of last season but everything else there’s no theme or referencing to what he’s done in womenswear prior to this. Last season there was a very specific customer to the luxe boho-ish woman and as a result I felt he really tapped into a certain demographic.

    This collection was VERY young and I don’t think of Saint Laurent as a young label, and it just all looks so teenage and I’m just not sure who he’s aiming this at – none of the looks are identifiable. If you dissect the show into individual looks, there are some pieces where you might think “oh, this is more like it” and the others were just statements of intent. My problem is that YSL/SLP is high fashion and high fashion should be high fashion, not expensive clothes for the sake of expensive clothes. What’s the point?

    There also might be an issue with the styling, I’m sure when you see the clothes on the rail it might look incredibly luxe and amazing but it just seems so perverse the way they’ve styled a beautiful dress with a pair of patent tights, big chunky cardigan, boots and greasy/just out of the shower hair. Apparently a lot of the collection is supposed to be interchangeable and unisex, I know he put the shoes from menswear in women sizes so I don’t know maybe that’s another factor in play?

    This is a dream collection for Topshop/Zara/H&M etc, because you’ll see it ripped off by them in a few weeks. Why spend thousands when you can spend tens? It’s just TOO accessible to 14 year old [moody] teenage girls. The show is just very confusing, insanely commercial, generally lacking and less…well just less. I’m not convinced. Perhaps it will look better in the shops.

    I love not being confined to 140 characters sometimes…

    • ciaohound

      Thank you. Also, thank you for writing in plain English instead of the frequently ungrammatical, pretentious, tortured “I’m smarter than I look” Man Repeller-ese that I’ve just had to struggle through.

      • Cat

        Then don’t freaking read it!

      • Susanna

        Are you considering the fact that not everyone here is an English/American native and does not speak English as a first language? This statement is pretentious, not the ones of people doing their best to express themselves in a foreign language.

      • The eclectics

        I don’t see a Man-Repeller-ese language problem here, nor do I detect a hint of pretentiousness. Clearly we’re just all confused, and at least Leandra expresses this ambiguity of our feelings about the collection. Should we toss it in the garbage can, because it reminds us of accessible zara/h&m/topshop collections, when “ready-to-wear” is (ironically) not supposed to do that? Should we embrace this as a statement? When you look beyond the gossip, pr-fuss, hate and frustration, you can see that Hedi actually portayed the fashion culture of today… I’m a streetstyle photographer for many years now; and this is fashion as it is – the elegant, chic, correctly dressed are litterally being pushed away from the red carpet by anyone that breaks a rule. And that often means that well-dressed “women” are being pushed away by “moody” teenagers. I’m not defending that, but that’s reality. Hedi merely shows us, as an artist, his view on what YSL is supposed to be, and people act as if he’s dancing on his grave. Not necessary. It’s fashion, art, (con)temporary!

        • http://www.farandwildjewelry.blogspot.com/ abigail lind

          this brings to mind the sentiment that well behaved women seldom make history. i think we’ve all seen recently, and are all on this blog because, in a similar manner well behaved fashionistas seldom make history.

          abigail
          http://www.farandwildjewelry.blogspot.com

      • Jesse Rose

        Seriously? This is what you want to add to the conversation? This is actually a really well articulated piece and if it wasn’t, there wouldn’t be this level of response and engagement… you’re kind of a bully.

    • thecivilian

      Could not have said it any better myself!!! wise and brilliant words.

    • Jessica

      *slow clap*
      You expressed what I wanted to say (type) here far better than I ever could.

      The Lovelorn

  • https://twitter.com/zohraodoherty Zohra

    It’s not democratization when you’re charging +€2,000 for a purse, but the price is of course irrelevant. What he did at Dior Homme, what Raf is doing at Dior now and even Alex Wang’s debut at Balenciaga, that is making your mark, moving forward, but still staying true to and respecting the essence of the brand. If it was his own name label, people would love it, but this just doesn’t make sense. Loved Hedi before Saint Laurent, not anymore, especially after that ridiculous altercation with Cathy Horan last year.

    • chrisliu0

      For all the complaints about him being on an ivory tower or not giving people seats and all that, this is essentially democratic because it’s so accessible. I’m not defending him because I hated this show but I just don’t understand what he’s trying to do.

  • Chicspace/Marguerite

    I think, in the end, this collection will be very popular when it’s been dissected, edited, re-imagined, etc. Those hats from the spring collection we all went WTF, Y SL Y? about? Gimme, now. Do I think street stylers (who can afford it) will be wearing this? HELL YES. Do I think H&M/Zara/UO/ASOS (oh wait they already did this) will rip this off? Yes. Do I think this is a YSL collection to place in a museum? No. Commercial? Yes. Are you tired of my questions yet?

  • overmycloset

    I actually liked the last Slimane SL collection. This one, well… too much Courtney Love, but still, it is easy to spot some nice garments. Still, where’s the show, the adrenaline rush? Not in Saint Laurent, that’s for sure…

    http://soovermycloset.blogspot.pt

  • Camilla Ackley

    When Slimane dropped the ‘Yves’ it was bound to mark a new direction from the brand, otherwise, that marketing choice wouldn’t had much point or significance on the house. I personally adored Slimane’s last collection, I thought it emulated that ‘Yves’ girl, but brought her to the 21st century and made her more accessible for the everyday consumer. I must admit though, what irks me about this collection is that it seemed lazy. While in his last collection I was under the impression he had ran over every hem line and accessory to perfection, this collection feels incoherent as though designed by a teenager (this coming from a 16 year old). Arguably he could be trying to present the progression of a teenager into a Laurent Woman since some of the looks do hold a more classic elegance.

    Either way, it isn’t my favorite, but that could be an aftermath of the shock of the unexpected.

    xo Camilla

    Into The Fold

  • Tina

    I think that collection would be a succes if it was sold in zara or h&m and with not so luxury quality it would still look similiar. but for the brand with great legacy like (y)sl it’s not meeting the expectation. Especially when luxury brand are suppose to deliver beautifully looking and luxurious clothing that will last dacades which we obviously cannot say for this collection. it get the idea of rebranding but perhaps he could take the grunge as an inspiration and develop it further to meet the easthetics of his customers instead of practically copying the 90s grunge scene and his hipster friends. and i’m pretty sure i saw the blue-ish star fur in top shop.

    • Sarah

      Indeed, Tina, while Saint Laurent – we always dropped the Yves in Europe from the very beginning – was still at the helm of his own house, he designed cutting edge luxurious cloths, always ahead of everyone else, e.g. with his Le Smoking. From numerous collections I still have many of those pieces which I bought while still living in Europe decades ago. Be it suits, pant suits, dresses or coats, they not only were made of high quality material, but they are now so effortlessly elegant and timeless to still be wearable today. The same can sometimes also be said for some of his successors, one of them having been Tom Ford.

  • MONICARP

    i’ve been confused since i saw this collection, and after reading your post I do realize that maybe that classic french customer does not exist anymore, hence the chance of actually making it more popular this “mainstream” way amongst the new customers

    http://www.moneasywardrobe.com

  • s

    as a blogger on a budget, i usually look to these runway shows and swoon over what I can’t have, but in this instance I don’t even want it. I feel as if I have seen so much of this in Forever 21, which is usually a rip off of other designers/stores anyway.

    xx

    http://spoonfulofdiamonds.blogspot.com

    http://www.facebook.com/SpoonfulOfDiamonds

    • Lateybirdy

      I don’t think we would say the same if this was a lookbook of Zara. I agree in the sense that this is not Saint Laurent, but the clothes aren’t that bad. I would prefer them if they were sold in, I don’t know, Topshop but labeling them as Saint Laurent is an insult to the House itself.

      merv

      http://www.lateybirdy.com

  • Cam B

    There’s hardly an outfit that a regular girl would look good wearing on the street, it looks trashy, the clothes dont look well made and even though you are right about the re-branding of YSL this showed was out dated and messy, Slimaine’s first wasnt immediately welcomed but at least the pieces looked well constructed and it was consistent and organized, unlike this one. There’s hardly anything that you wouldn’t find at h&m or topshop

    • Chloe

      You know what? You hit the nail on the head for me. What I find makes his collection so unappealing is the fact that it looks like the work of a first year fashion student. This really has no direction and everything looks cheap and sloppy. You’re right– it is outdated; I feel like I’ve seen a million of that black/gold and blue dress in the junior’s department at Macy’s. My biggest qualm here is that it lacks ingenuity and originality; it has no voice, no image, and the flannel? It feels like a giant step back. To reiterate what so many are saying, it’s H&M, Topshop, Urban Outfitters. There is no appeal. Why would I want to repurchase what I’ve just donated to Goodwill?

      I also work with a great deal of YSL from the 1960s-today and have seen it in all its variations, incarnations, and moods. This, I feel, does not belong in the same category as those garments. The label is legendary for a reason.

      • http://www.facebook.com/emyhudson Emily Hudson

        Agreed, but at least one can find things at H&M and TopShop that don’t scream “off-duty hooker.” I am mourning the loss of the Y in YSL. :,(

  • http://www.facebook.com/paula.mcclelland1984 Paula McClelland

    MR yours is the only blog I will scroll through and read ALL the comments – I love our little catty community here.

    I liked the pics you posted – that first dress with the gold detail is really quite cool no?

    Am I to understand that the “Fashion world” is getting its la Perla’s twisted because this collection is too “wearable”? That seems plain retarded to me – it was only 4 seasons ago that Christopher Decarnin at Balmain was designing “top Shop” t-shirts from silk and charging a grand for them…? Then it was the height of chic – but now a venerable fashion house goes and tries a similar trick and it is “too wearable”? #headspins.

    I think people take fashion too seriously and this collection will sell like HOTCAKES ;-)

    ♥ Paula Shoe Fiend.
    http://shoe-fiend.blogspot.co.uk/

  • http://alafemme.etsy.com/ Kelly

    I knew I wasn’t the only one not entranced by Hedi Slimane’s offerings at Saint Laurent. Setting aside the obvious guilt that has plagued me since dropping the ‘Yves’ from my repertoire, I have not been dazzled by Slimane’s ability to take SL to an entirely new level of pretension. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with clothing being pretentious. People using clothing as anything other than utilitarian objects, is standard practice. Be pretentious, immerse yourself into stronger, sexier and uber confident beings from the flick of a dress. But do so under anything but the guise of a long standing French fashion house who’s designs are best reserved for women who shower more than once a month. Harsh maybe, but Slimane has managed to take an iconic house and turn it into a grunged, heroine addled, rocker chic brand in less than a year. Splotchy makeup, biker boots and sliced leather leggings, does not a YSL woman make. Lets not leave out the leather front zip skirts, plaid flannel (yes, flannel) shirts, and the arbitrary ascot for good measure.

    How I miss Stefano Pilati and his ability to design fully dressed, confident, sexy women who obviously say no to drugs. After showing his final collection from YSL just a year ago, I have grown to miss his understated yet subtly whimsical designs. Who knows, I never count any designer out. Hedi Slimane’s next collection may completely blow me away or even if he designs true to himself under his own name, that’s perfectly applaudable. Its just when it comes to design houses that I know and love changing so drastically I get disillusioned. With all the designer buzz and succeeding name change that had YSL revamping their entire brand, my hopes were so unbelievable high, leaving me with a queasy feeling in my stomach from the subsequent fall. So now I look to Resort 2014, in hopes that fishnet tights and simulated Dr. Martens aren’t on the menu.

  • Antonio

    I really like your take on it, I do. However when you take over the helm of a power house like YSL, you have to respect what has come before you, not completely disregard the houses aesthetic. There is a level of respect that I can’t help feel is really lacking. Beautifully written piece though.

    • http://www.facebook.com/emyhudson Emily Hudson

      I so agree with this post. YSL has such history it seems a little crazy to have gone as far as Slimane has in order to “update” it. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! What I love about RTW collections, though, is that show-goers can really picture themselves wearing what’s coming down the runway. However, nothing at all seems updated about this collection, not even the hair or makeup (I think it’s safe to say we’ve all seen enough plaid/combat boots combos in our lifetimes to choke a horse). This collection doesn’t look remotely wearable to me either: tell me those pointy looking tights wouldn’t annoy the shit out of you and get runs immediately!

  • WordToAdina

    I think the beautiful thing about fashion now, is that you can break it down from the put togetherness of the runway and make it your own. You can wear your lovely Dries jacket with your Club Monaco button down & Golden Goose sneakers. This collection seems to have already done that for you. It was unexpected for SL, especially after last season. But we can’t forget how shocking Marc’s collection was, I guess the difference is that at the time, it really was reinventing the wheel. Lets’ hope Hedi doesn’t shared the same fate as Marc did at Perry Ellis, unless this really just marks the beginning for Slimane.

  • http://twitter.com/LAGirlFancies L.A. Girl Fancies

    I have to admit, when last seasons’ bohemian collection debuted, my heart dropped. I too felt confused. It wasn’t your typical YSL collection yet I couldn’t deny that it was gorgeous. I thought to myself, clearly the YSL fashion house was evolving and taking its style into a new direction. This thought or acceptance actually made this seasons’ collection much easier to comprehend and I too applaud Slimane in his effort.

    What I think most are still struggling with, is how an iconic luxury brand like YSL, who has so much design history and influence in the fashion world, could just simply let this all slip away. How could they not want to maintain any essence of the YSL aesthetic? What made them take this brand into a new direction? YSL admirers were clearly caught off guard and they still need closure. Maybe the YSL:The Retrospective museum exhibit last year was their way of telling the world that they have put this era of YSL history to bed.

  • lynnsay

    It looks nothing like YSL, but then again it isn’t YSL, it’s Saint Laurent. This kinda style does appeal to me, but I’m an 18 year old student whose life style wholly embraces biker boots and flannel shirts but not for a couple of thousand euros. So I guess this could appeal to a much wider audience, but it’s an audience that has no chance in hell of indulging in the brand.

    http://www.thesartorialscot.com

  • Pilar Mendes

    i didnt think it was bad. actually, i thought it was great. thats what the world of women is turning into. like you said, i dont believe that the wealthy french customers exist anymore, theyre just a fantasy. basically, it was commercial and obviously not as chic as yves’ signature style was, but that was an interesting collection. ysl (slp, actually) has always been so strict and i think hedi is a genius for breaking this concept.

  • nicole

    the collection is cool, no doubt, but it is not (Y)SL and it’s not really even that fresh. i like the plaid mohair looking sweater and respect the spiked tights, but other than that, the whole spin on grunge doesn’t even seem to be reinvented or new. i’m not going to count him out, and i honestly don’t think this kind of controversy will hurt him much (maybe just boost people’s curiosity?), but i think he needs to find a good balance between having an edgy p.o.v. while still giving the ysl woman what she ultimately wants: to be chic.

  • KZ

    I think that the issue with this collection is that it is not identifiable as stemming in any way from the (Yves) Saint Laurent family tree. There are few elements that speak to the brand’s DNA, and that is disheartening to loyal followers of the company’s heritage. If this were a collection by Marc Jacobs, Acne, Rag and Bone, etc., then the reaction probably would not have been the same. The design, quality, and styling are not bad or amateur, it is just that they still carry the YSL label (yeah, yeah…SL) without maintaining a ton of the sign posts indicative of Saint Laurent. Sure, there are smoking jackets, but who doesn’t do a blazer? It’s difficult to draw comparison between Slimane and Simons because Simons maintained the integrity and much of the shape of Dior and the New Look while modernizing it, neon-izing it, and turning it on its head. Slimane did that with his Fall 13 collection, but I think that the critique here is just a lack of consistency.

  • Sara

    Hmmm… I am torn between agreeing with you and huffing in annoyance like many others. Many things stated in this post are true: yes, Yves was trying to ‘democratize’ fashion, and yes, that fashion IS all about personal exploration, and yes, new and sometimes shocking approach is essential in the fashion world. I could actually agree with everything you have said. And in the end, this is not a bad collection.

    However, I think that the problem behind this issue is not about product itself, but with the perception that people have when they think of ysl/slp. This brand represents elegance, sophistication, woman who is wealthy and chic in that beautiful Parisian way. And although that women probably doesn’t exist any more, like you have said, the fact is that we all want her to be real. And we all feel that Saint Laurent represents that woman. And by buying any piece with (y)sl logo, we feel that we are one step closer to that perfect woman.

    And isn’t that the actual power of the brand: it’s ability to represent and connect you to something that you are craving for? I just think that people are not ready to let that go. Not just yet.

  • Cynthia Chen

    AGREED

  • Sarah

    Kinky, slutty, tasteless, classless, etc., etc.

    Yves Saint Laurent is spinning in his grave, and I doubt that one of his most famous muses, Catherine Deneuve, nor any of his formerly loyal customers – me included – will want to be caught dead wearing Slimane’s utterly awful frocks.

    • MK

      Thank you for this comment. I do not understand what they were thinking at Yves Saint Laurent when they let Heidi drop the Yves and completely change the brand image. I don’t even recognize any of the YSL aesthetic in his work. I feel like we lost an iconic fashion house.

  • http://twitter.com/misshoax bianca

    taking creative license is and would be welcome, but this seemed like hedi was designing a collection for topshop – and not rive gauche. you can change and adapt an ideal, but i feel as if he is more willing to tear the house down, than to take an ounce from the archives. you can’t strip saint laurent completely of yves.

    (http://aweebitskint.com)

  • http://bia.se/ Avloppstankar

    Although I liked a lot of the pieces, I think it has gone too far away from the YSL fashion house. There is no refinement or elegance at all in the pieces. This is a line that is only accessible to the MUCH younger generation.

    http://bia.se

  • Sunshine Fox

    If Mr. Bergé isn’t throwing darts then, really, no one else should be either. Mr. Slimane stayed true to the codes of the house, just not the codes that the public at large is used to because we have become accustomed to seeing the house thru the scope of Stefano Pilati and Tom Ford (yes, he designed for the house from 1999-2004). In the 60′s and 70′s Mr. Saint Laurent’s women were beatniks, safari-esque and wore paintings as dresses. Mr. Slimane’s woman is just as much a reflection of her times as Mr. SL’s were of his. Go back into the archives, look at what Mr. Saint Laurent did when he started the house and compare it to fashion of the times, he was designing and dressing a young rebellious woman much like the models that Mr. Slimane sent down the runway yesterday. He is staying current and moving the house forward. I, for one, say BRAVO!

    • mieletcharme

      Very good point – I agree with your appraisal of the Saint Laurent house.

      However my only question is, is this really a reflection of the women of our times? Or is this rebellious for the sake of rebellious-ness? Somehow, I feel like the women of our times is sophisticated with a tongue-in-cheek approach. Not so much plain rebellious cheek using sophisticated materials.

    • Ceci

      I would agree with you if, as mieletcharme said, the woman portrayed was a woman identified in our time. Is grunge a representative trend for us nowadays? It isn’t avant garde, it was cool in the nineties. I still like that the approach is of a less pretentious, more practical and young line, but I’m still not sure given the possibilities that running a house like Saint Laurent gives you, to show a collection that doesn’t really have a fresh perspective.

  • Tess

    This is phenomenal! I have just returned from a tutorial debating the crises and criticism of cultural heritage conservation with regards to intangible cultural heritage, and cultural heritage at large, and forgive my mostly uneducated input in light of Yves Saint Laurent’s, as a ‘great House tradition’, historically significant legacy, but I’m curious to note my mental application of conservation listing and safe-guarding on such a legacy. The despair re: Slimane’s collections are wholly understandable, but so too is the notion that ‘creation is unpredictable, you have to make space for the unknown..’ If we, as a creative, or moreover, as a human community, don’t apply these mindsets, we ask ourselves to live in a static, freeze-framed memorial to the artistic feats of fashion greats, which could instead be used to drive us forward on our crusade to create and to live. What lives breathes, and what breathes changes, and fashion is a living, breathing entity. Considering Slimane’s Saint Laurent collections were an expected creative departure, why not roll with the punches and rejoice in the tiny embellished pantaloons and ineffable fur coats.

  • helen

    Glad you brought this up Leandra. This is a very interesting subject – and very well written!

    I personally hated the styling of this runway collection (and think a lot of the comments relate to the styling more than the pieces themselves.) But many of the pieces themselves, still look rich and mature, and can be considered consistent with YSL expectations (the fur coat, the tailored waistcoat) although I must say that some of the dresses are rather young looking, and just wrong; and he’s not figured out how to do luxe plaid very well.

    While Isabel Marant can get away with it because she’s mastered this kind of dressing, her price-point (with the exception of some of her runway pieces) is more reflective of that market. I feel like this collection is trying to marry Isabel Marant with Dries Van Noten (my favourite designer who has truly mastered his craft, in my humble opinion.) I’m sure HS will learn from his mistake – although I do feel badly for the sales personal working at YSL boutiques that have to re-style the collection so their regular customers are still comfortable buying & wearing these clothes come Fall.

    • Ana

      I totally agree with you and I share the same passion for Dries Van Noten’s work. Despite grungy, his collection was stylish and put together, grown up yet young. It used grunge as inspiration and took it to a whole different level. With all due respect, I feel like Hedi Slimane has made the ultimate collection for all the aspiring bloggers out there, who can now recreate this style effortlessly on their websites by wearing fast fashion brands and zero creativity. Yes, the YSL woman was rebellious, but she was also chic and gave us something to aspire to. I’m all up for fashion’s democratisation, but fashion’s purpose is also to make us dream. Why dream about something I already have in my closet?

  • Daniella Merbs

    I feel that Hedi Slimane’s attempt for mass appeal and his rooting back to original ready-to-wear was an ingenious idea. I don’t feel that this is where Saint Laurent has progress to today but I do love it nonetheless… My only criticism is the fact that this seasons designs are inconsistent with what the brand is known for but this is what you get when you move your design offices from Paris to Los Angeles, GRUNGE!

  • http://madamecouture.blogspot.com/ Emma Hager

    I’m still as torn as I was yesterday when I first saw the collection. On the one hand, I’ve always been into the grunge look — and the aesthetic/philosophy (though not so much the actual punk music) of 90s girl/feminist bands at large. So all other factors aside, it was a good collection. On the other hand, its lack of agknowledgement for YSL as a brand (name change included) does, in all honesty, feel a bit disrespectful. I don’t think it would be fair to judge heavily – albeit indirectly – and suggest/require that some young designers must stay true to both their own aesthetic and that of the brand’s, while others can completley reinvent to the point of a new House. It’s easier when there’s no requirment, but it takes a certain craft for the synergy of two different visions. So, I think it really comes down to the fashion industry as a whole either not applying that pressure of having to conform to the brand’s original core, or we all need to become less fixated on the notion and move on. Perhaps success shouldn’t be based on the accomplishment of staying true to another, rather staying true to designer at hand. New chapters can be good, but they can also end in a wreck. Nevertheless, we are creatures of comfort and like to know that the legacy of profound individuals is carried on — at least in vigor if not in physical form. I think we just need to give this some time, to see where he goes with the brand and see if it comes out the other side with a small resemblence to the core. And if not? Then perhaps we can let others off the hook as well.

  • Frances Coral

    I believe that democratization of fashion is very relevant to today’s fashion industry. Especially, in Parisian fashion. Let’s ne honest, the rich, French lady customer doesn’t exist anymore. Perhaps it does, but not in great amounts. Slimane’s approach is admirable and realistic. Someone has to get down to business.

  • Betsy

    This is definitely wearable…so I love it! Haters gonna hate

  • ddcc

    hedi can design what ever he wants to and i can buy what ever i want to…but i already own all of that!!

  • Megan

    no one seems to notice but the “old” YSL nod is in the teeny-tiny baby accessories (i.e. crisp white skinny belts and baby pearls) that high five the respectful nature that was Yves. I adore this collection. I adore it even more because people hate it. How Hipster Hannah of me.

  • Lauren Dimesky

    Love what your wrote! My take is when you have enormous bad press, that is the best you can get! Maybe that was the plan!?!

    (=’.’=)

    -Lauren at adorn la femme

  • http://twitter.com/looksharpWI Look Sharp Sconnie

    From now on you should just post a title, followed by “discuss”.
    These are that good.

    • Leandra Medine

      Yes. They. Are.

  • Alice

    You know, I loved his summer collection as well. Good use pf fabrics and tailoring was evident. What the negative-commentors are trying to say is that this collection looks cheap (like topshop cheap). Hedi could go into another direction with YSL -alas a youthful one- but he can’t forget the legacy of YSL which certainly is not cheap looking urban outfitters girls

  • Nisha Btesh

    I LOVE THIS COLLECTION!!! am i the only one??!?!

    http://thepatternpolicediaries.wordpress.com/

  • lavieetdemie

    we were all disappointed with the dropping of yves…it makes you think why? and what are they trying to leave behind? with a move like that.
    but then they came up with some really great, covetable, relateable, really loveable, timeless pieces and we saw a hint of ysl there but different…
    seeing this collection confuses me as well…i’m confused because i expected to love it — but i found myself feeling not as expected…way to be vague and dodgy, right? haha!

    lavieetdemie.blogspot.com

    • lavieetdemie

      to clarify, when i said vague and dodgy, i meant my response…not your piece… =)

  • eli

    The democratization of fashion that you mentioned happened in the ’60s when YSL was the king of the business. Nowadays, the scenere has completly changed and there’s nothing to democratize anymore. Slimane has taken a risky road: blame it on the marketing maybe? Sales will prove them right or wrong.

  • Maike

    well… everyone is complaining now… the the check comes at the end!
    pretty sure, that the collection will find a crowd. Sometimes the unexpected is confusing…
    Chers from Switzerland, M.
    http://congratsyouareingoodcompany.blogspot.ch/

  • Wind-up bird

    I don’t think fishnets and combat boots automatically equal “slutty”, “classless”, or “tasteless”. Why are we using such hateful language to describe a clothing collection? One can be a lady, however you want to define that, and still wear a pair of Docs.

    • The eclectics

      I agree – why the hatred? But…, I do think it’s a pretty slutty styling, but maybe that’s the point? And if it wasn’t the point Hedi wanted to make, who cares? Kate Moss was wearing the fishnet/pearl stockings yesterdaynight at the Carine Roitfeld party at the Shangri-la and I can tell you, it was Classy, Tasteful, Mature… And yes, Ysl-ish. So… It’s already out there… Proving the haters wrong. The collection is already living an (interesting) life on its own.

  • http://www.tripsandtreasures.net/ Trips & Treasures

    even when having to judge it without knowing it was saint laurent, I wouldn’t have been very impressed, there are a few beautiful dresses, but they hardly stand out because of all the “grunge” around it

    http://www.tripsandtreasures.net

  • Sara

    Yeah ok, you’re saying he’s trying to do something new but this is NOT new. Monsieur Saint Laurent broke new ground with his Le Smoking but this is not ground breaking on any level. You could have put any of these looks in Top Shop or Urban Outfitters windows during the last few years.

    This is teenage London high street fashion that inspires noone and does nothing to preserve the legacy of the Sain Laurent name and brand. Anyone who says this is a good collection is simply blinded by the label and can’t think straight.

  • Laura

    This is not democracy, it’s autocracy whatsoever.

    I believe the problem here lays in that if I wanted to buy Slimane’s clothes I would (there are some pretty shirts there), but if I want YSL pieces now I don’t have where to sight or get those because he has exterminated them. He exterminated Yves, twice.

    Period.

  • Tatiana Popovitchenko

    Is this not the point of fashion though? Speaking to your fan base. Giving a sophisticate Parisian “grunge glamour” and seeing what THEY do with it? RTW collections are only effective if they can be bought and individualized by the buyer- but still retain the character of the brand.

    What this “brand character” is then turns out to be a discussion. “This is NOT YSL!” You are right- make it so- turn this collection into what you want to wear. Because you KNOW YSL. You, the consumer, are in the best place to define what is thought ultimately of this brand. As the “democracy” of fashion evolves, we need to stop acting like it is a dictatorship, and speak back to the industry with what we wear and what we wear it with- not wait for them to pair al our outfits just as we want them to. Good art is solely defined as “good” because it can make you think and reconsider.

    • http://twitter.com/katrionagh Katharine MacDonald

      Hear hear!

    • The eclectics

      Yes! This is so true, it’s about what we do with it. I believe that is the reason why I’m not such a hater… Yes, some things are styled very slutty, and yes, it all looks very young. But ultimately, we’re all talking about this collection, we’re all captivated… So in that aspect – he wins. Because fashion is also about bringing up a dialogue. And so it was when ysl was doing the brand.

  • Namrata Kedar

    The shift in Saint Laurents sensibilities is perceptible, but change doesnt necessarily have to be bad. But it appears that they have taken the whole rebranding aspect too seriously!

    N
    http://seasoncheck.blogspot.in

  • Teelala

    Yves Saint Laurent produced exquisitely beautiful clothing. He was an innovator who dressed grown-up women, not disheveled girls”.

    This collection is a joke. Hedi used (abused?) the label’s name to produce something in his ‘image’ that is so out of tune with YSL and how to dress women (not teenagers) that if not fired he should be on probation. His arrogance is a bore.

  • lisa

    looks more like 1990′s anna sui than saint laurent

  • http://malcriada.net/ Jennifer Cooke

    I’m just trying to figure out where the additional rhetoric is? That confused me.

    • Leandra Medine

      She provided insight is all.

      • http://malcriada.net/ Jennifer Cooke

        Oh, I see. Thanks!

      • http://malcriada.net/ Jennifer Cooke

        I see! Thank you. As far as the topic–I really don’t think we can underestimate the effect of the incredible ill will engendered by Slimane (and his PR team) since he took over Saint Laurent (or Saint Laurent Paris, or Saint Laurent by Hedi Slimane, depending on the context, blahblahblah).. The attempts to micromanage all press, the blacklisting of all who dare to question (Cathy Horyn, The Business of Fashion, etc)–it leaves a bad taste in the mouth. I’m nowhere near these rarefied realms and even I find myself wrinkling my nose at Slimane just because I find his behavior so childish and unpleasant. That open letter to Horyn–that was a bitch move. What would also be a bitch move would be too reactionarily make a collection with no earthly connection to the YSL tradition after getting called out for lack of originality on the first go-round. An “I’ll show them” mentality, however unconscious it might have been? Who knows. But I have to think that when you put so much negativity out there, it comes back to you. Hence the tsunami of shit-talking.

  • Opposite Lipstick
  • Georgia

    I loved the plaid shirts but the styling was wrong. It just gave connotations of a grunge kind of style in the worst possible way that grunge can exist. I think that reflects back to styling. Yes, we’re loving the 90s shirts and all the plaid and but we like it in the version of 2013. The collection looks as if drugs were involved in the process. Hair and makeup included. Do the plaid shirts but style them with something more YSL and be Saint Laurent. I do agree that given that Slimane has taken the position of creative director and the decision was to rebrand the house of Yves, his identity as a designer should reflect in the designs. But it seems like they’ve created a new fashion house. It appears more like demolition instead of renovation. The only thing right in this collection was the plaid. Have I said plaid enough times?

    http://mademoiselleconomist.blogspot.com

    • Georgia

      Drugs involved in the process meaning that the styling reflected a girl on substance abuse and not the Saint Laurent customer. Just to clarify :)

  • http://www.hauteinhabit.com/ Haute Inhabit

    I think that from a business perspective they had just done the worst thing possible to their “brand”; and that is to confuse their customer. Brands that undergo changes need to do it gradually. A very, very, dumb move on their part.

    But I guess all we can do is wait to see if it sells. Because, in the end, it’s all about those numbers!

    • Leandra Medine

      I don’t know, there were plenty of lucrative selling points!The collection may not have subscribed to the frivolity and fantasy of a traditional runway presentation but the sweeping criticism is wearability and wearability sells (to paraphrase Cathy Horyn: to be relevant today, is to create wearable clothes)

      • Mary

        I really enjoyed your view on this really contentious collection. The thing for me about it is it’s not new. You are too young to remember it the first time around! I’m 10 years older than you – In 1992 me and my friends spent our saturday mornings at thrift shops looking for these tacky dresses and ‘flannies’ as we called the check shirts so we could wear them on saturday nights with our doc marten 8-ups to house partiesi in the neighbourhood and the ultimate goal being making out with boys in the front yard… as soon as i saw the first picture from the collection it took me straight back to the time of hiding cheap liquor in our handbags. The only thing Slimane left out of this collection is the crotchet skull caps. and super thin eye brows on the model. He didn’t even add value to the look. unacceptable.

  • Hilde

    Presonally I just think it’s sad that they let the elegance go. For me that elegnace is the D in the brands DNA.

  • http://www.facebook.com/fernanda.munizagapreece Fernanda Munizaga Preece

    I would definitely not see Anna Dello Russo wearing this collection. Or many other fashion editors.

  • http://twitter.com/katrionagh Katharine MacDonald

    I have several old vintage plaid flannel YSL shirts – albeit Homme – so it’s not like they’ve never touched the fabric before. I’ll second that this might be a styling issue more than anything. I see a few structured blazers, there are certainly some hints of Yves (or maybe Stefano) in there.

  • Caroline

    Come on. You don’t love runway fashion because it’s “wearable.” For the most part, the dresses in the Met’s Alexander McQueen exhibition weren’t exactly things you’d wear down the street—and he wasn’t even an official couturier! But they were exquisite nonetheless. The fact is, labels largely make their money off handbags and perfumes, not clothes.

    Runway fashion’s purpose is to allow you to dream of the possibilities of what clothes can be, to be transported, captivated. People like you and me can draw inspiration from the colors, textures, proportions and translate those looks to our everyday lifestyles and budgets.

    Saint Laurent isn’t about designing, it’s about styling. It’s a somewhat egotistical thing to like a collection because you already “dress like that.” Then why bother looking at different designers? Isn’t the point of fashion to push boundaries and create new ways of dressing? I don’t want to be affirmed, I want to be challenged. I want to be made to feel uncomfortable and forced to think. The best fashion upends your assumptions as YSL so often did in his own career, as Rei Kawakubo or Raf Simons do now.

    Hedi Slimane hasn’t done anything in this collection that Marc Jacobs didn’t do 20 years ago and better. What he’s doing is recycling hoary rock and roll cliches as some superficial grand statement of being anti-style. It’s cynical. He seems to be saying that he’s above fashion. I like designers to give a damn.

  • http://twitter.com/LocalAndOpulent Lesley O.

    Where is Yves? Not in LA.

    A new cold weather outfit post is up on Local & Opulent. Hopefully there won’t be too many more days that I will need my giant scarf!

    http://localandopulent.wordpress.com/2013/03/06/lionorlamb/

  • ellie

    My problem with this collection isn’t really about the age inappropriateness, lack of luxury, lack of respect to the house, or the styling. The truth is simply that I have seen it before. There was absolutely nothing inventive. I understand if SLP is trying to not reference YSL – fine. But then you do need to move in the future and define your own image. An effort to do this has not yet been made at SLP.

  • AB

    I feel sorry for Hedi Slimane… I think all artists have a bad period and this might be his. I am not saying this in a mean way, I am just being realistic. What makes great designers or artists special is that they have a gift that makes them see what we don’t see, they go beyond what is established, they always try to go further and anticipate the future, experiment with forms, combinations, colors, fabrics, valume. I loved Hedi’s passed collections even not in Saint Laurent, even though I wouldn’t wear them. Maybe I would wear this one, but it’s not surprising, exceptional or challenging. Let’s bring the Yves back and hope next season will be better…

  • Barbara

    I agree that Hedi must have been having a very bad day, that the collection has nothing new, (we’ve all seen grunge) that it skews so young as to be unaffordable by almost all young enough to wear it and that there is no trace of elegance. But why would any low cost shop bother to knock it off when they’ve already been doing it for ages? Any teen can, (and has) done a better version of this look simply by going to their brother’s closet or a garage sale or both.
    All my complaining aside, this collection leaves absolutely nothing for women of a certain age who want to dress with elegance with some quirkiness and artieness thrown in.
    No wonder vintage is so big these days.
    Barbara

  • Evainny

    I can not even believe it. What kind of joke is this? Failure!

    Evainny´s Fashion Diary
    http://evainny.blogspot.com

  • HM

    From the words of this collection’s muse, courtney love .. “I love it. It reminds me of Value Village.” Value Village? At those prices? Really Hedi? REALLY?

    (http://www.fashion-law.org/2013/03/courtney-love-talks-saint-laurent-fall.html#.UTd-eaUZfdm)

    • Chelsie

      I laughed OUT LOUD. and then felt very sad because it is the DAMN TRUTH. sorry, caps.

  • kathryn

    two things:

    first: beautiful post! you have such a forward thinking gaze! i, too, have been loving what slimane is doing for the house. it is new and exciting and daring. and it is true: whenever something is new, fresh and challenging, the crowds tend to criticize and mock. and then they unwittingly come around to the change. human nature of holding to the past, fear of the new and different future, etc. and, lest we forget that though his circumstances were a bit different, even yves himself was fired from dior…

    second: sorry, i love you, and i understand the point you are trying to prove – that you are not the ‘saint laurent’s chic, overwhelmingly wealthy, french customer’, however definition is all a part of perspective and mine is that you are certainly NOT as you describe yourself ‘a groupie on the sidelines’. we, your readers, are.

    thank you.

  • Aubrey Green

    I like it. “Ready to Wear” – doesn’t have two meanings, or three, or four, does it? By the way Leandra, I LOVE you. I have a friend who thinks that anyone who loves fashion and dares to have a blog about it – is well, not an intellectual. I argue with her about this all the time (why is she my friend – another time, another place) She mentioned the article by Betty Friedan and said she loved it, etc…this is something I should read. THE NEXT DAY, you so lovingly mentioned the SAME article in your blog post, to which I sent my friend in a very, “hahaha, see, I told you, people that are maybe too fashion obsessed (if there is even such a thing) are in fact intellectuals (image of tongue sticking out)” So, thank you, thank you, thank you for being you!! This has nothing to do with fashion, but my boyfriend is also Persian (as well as Jewish) and Turkish :) and I think you guys are beautiful (no, I am not – is this cause for an interesting story – you bet)

  • Denisia

    I admire the courage. Only the courage. I don’t see the brand’s signature anymore.
    http://www.polishingcolors.com/

  • http://memoirmode.com/ Kylie Memoir Mode

    High street copy the catwalk to make looks accessible to people without massive bank accounts. I feel Saint Laurent AW13 is copying the high-street, on a trend that is very overdone. To be honest, I think the grunge look will be on its way out by the time we get to Autumn this year. It feels very studenty. How many students have the money to splash out on Saint Laurent.

  • Rachel

    If I am going to spend that much money on an item of clothing, it better look Parisian Chic…Otherwise, I’d be the idiot who paid thousands of dollars buying a plaid shirt. People bought YSL because it brought about bit of class and elegance that is so lacking in the world. Why ruin peoples fantasy? The world is ugly enough.

  • EdgifyMe

    It’s refreshing to see an alternate perspective on the subject and I respect his audacity in designing a collection for the “disheveled girl” but I wish he would have made that statement with more depth. The collection felt pretty flat and if you can easily recreate most of the looks from fast fashion, where’s the aspiration?

  • Pickle

    Seems like Hedi Slimane is very (too?) inspired by his association with F.B Cobain…
    http://www.hedislimane.com/rockdiary/index.php?e=viewSpe&rockdiarySpeHomeNo=57
    Pure grunge pedigree + trust fund cash = the dream customer for this collection.

  • Amber Kaz

    I think the point here is that Slimane knew that NO ONE is that chic overwhelmingly wealthy french customer anymore. It would be naive to think so. And frankly, the brand is growing into something bigger than that exclusive niche. I like it better this way, and truthfully the customers should be more than willing to accept a new look if that is what the designer intends to bring. So much to say…

  • http://www.facebook.com/michele.rodriguez.35325 Michele Rodriguez

    Very well put. This being said she took a chance and went far from where St Laurent has gone in the past but I think there is no hope for a comeback collection. I like change and to be honest this seasons runway was safe. beautiful and eye catching but definitely safe. she does what she wants. its bold. i lie it.

  • MariaIrene

    I truly believe in a free creative outlet, giving reigns to your imagination and going with it. While I was not that upset when he dropped the “Yves”, and actually liked his Spring collection (love it even), I think there is a point when you have to account for the legacy you are working with. With this collection, in my humble opinion, he crossed the line of his rebel behavior. There is nothing here that says Saint Laurent for me. This is the first season in a very long time when I don’t feel like I love a Saint Laurent collection. I am not going to call him a joke, or anything like that. But I do feel that sense of glamour and couture that represents the house for a long time now is lost, and he may need to take action on it for the next show. But that is just me.

  • http://www.facebook.com/azaliamtz Azalia Martinez

    This looks like street style “Capirotada!” (Define for further understanding)

    I respect and admire mix media wardrobes, but this does not read YSL. H. Slimane has a brand to protect, his move should have been a subtle one. This was very “Man Repeller” and I am sure you would make such combinations Leandra; let’s just hope it isn’t a “Brand-Loyals repeller” collection.

  • KateFox

    I am uncertain if the collection deserves the criticisms because I find them to be out of context of the clothes themselves. If the concern is “this isn’t Ysl” that is one thing. I found merit in the collection regardless of the house that brought it and therefore enjoyed it. The two ideas are separate to me. Probably bc I am not in the business of maintaining the same client base year after year. However, I found all of this wearable NOW. Which is something that cannot be said for all collections, clearly.

  • Guest

    plainly: Aesthetics aside, Heidi is clearly going for a COMPLETE different audience. I can not picture ANY of his garments on a “lady”. Courtney Love is not a fashion ICON even in LA.

  • Amanda GREY

    plainly: Aesthetics aside, Hedi is clearly going for a COMPLETE different audience. How did he manage to get that far in market terms, is what seems to be completely ABSURD. I can not picture ANY of his garments on an luxury costumer. Courtney Love is not a fashion ICON even in LA.

  • Sofi

    I agree with you in terms of thinking “what would YSL do today? What would revolutionize a women’s closet today to liberate her and wear something different?”. But is that expensive grunge?? Half of the pieces in his collection are in Zara stores today, and the other half, were nothing new. When Hedi Slimane was appointed as creative director I couldn’t have been happier, because to me, he was always the perfect designer for YSL. Around the time Tom Ford left YSL, Slimane was blowing up a Dior Homme and actresses and celebrities were wearing his men’s suits on the red carpet. That was as YSL as you can get. I thought the choice was so obvious, even back then. When I thought of Slimane being able to go back to the archives a bring the maison back to life made me so happy, I thought the gods had listen my prayers!!!! And after seeing his 2 collections so far…. I have to say I was expecting a little bit more from him…

  • Annie

    I’m thinking more Macklemore & Ryan Lewis than YSL.

  • marie

    I understand and appreciate the “democratization of fashion”, but I just feel like runways are there for inspiration. This is what every college girl I know looks like… I don’t feel inspired, I feel like I see this everyday all day. It doesn’t mean I hate it- it just already seems like the final result: runways providing inspiration for high street stores, who then sell it to young girls and this is what they come up with. There should be something elevated, more artistic in a runway show… or something?

  • Elle C.

    Here is the bottom line: Yes that uber rich fancy French woman might not exist anymore but that does not mean that those who are actually shot on the street and admired by all of us look like these girls!!! I am sorry but if you did not know that this was SL collection, you wouldn’t even bother talking about it. Styling is horrible, clothes look like H&M Dvided!! I mean really?? Yes, I love being different than everyone too but this collection is cheap, trashy and have no harmony!!!

  • sarah

    really couldn’t get through all this – too many words. don’t think the near deads ( catherine deneuve etc) will be around long enough for SL to care if she’s into this. point being is it new? fresh? cool? well im not certain its any of these. it most certainly is a shocking departure. that said, i’m sure those boots are killer in the flesh. interested to see where this all goes ;-)

  • tranbta

    I’m all for designers trying to re-invent a brand to give it a little lift. Yves Saint Laurent hasn’t appealed to the younger generation for a long time. I applaud Slimane’s efforts, but I’ll always appreciate the elegant and sophisticated looked YSL always upheld. There are plenty of designers today to give us edge.

    http://teawithtran.tumblr.com

  • cheri

    WOW. it’s funny how people will swallow a. wang’s dick, but let slimane do something so fucking relevant to 90s, tumblr, NOW & it’s completely unfathomable! oh what does it all meeeean?! he designed vintage doy

  • http://nicola-lynde.blogspot.dk/ nicola lynde

    I concede your point of fashion needing to push boundaries and explore, YSL pushed boundaries many times in his career. The problem I have with Hedi Slimane’s collection is that I just plain don’t like it. All talk of YSL aside I think the collection lacks cohesiveness and focus. I don’t have a clue who the customer is or what the occasion and this general feeling of chaos on the runway, is for me what makes it a miss. He is a talented designer and I’m sure will find his feet if given another chance.

  • http://twitter.com/Highlandista Highland Fashionista

    I don’t know if he is trying to appeal to a larger audience…..a younger one perhaps….but the problem I have with this is that despite the fact that Slimane is trying something in a different direction, its nothing that we haven’t seen before. Its almost like he took out the book of trends and threw a handful of darts and was like”okay…grunge got a hit…and fur….and goth boots….and oooooh…hotpants!

    Part of what we love about the house is that iconic Le Smoking Silhouette…the louche expensivve French thing. This is more turn of the century bordello meets Courtney Love.

  • Shonima Kaul

    Hi Leandra.. Love reading all the comments on your posts. It gives a varied aspect of what people like or do not like which is very interesting. Sometimes they surprise me and sometimes I am in sync with them. Coming to SL post, I definitely feel that Heidi has not been able to achieve what Raf has done for DIOR. The issue is not trying to do something different cos even Simmons has brought his indigenous minimalistic love to the brand which is different from Galliano school of thought and faced criticism from some groups but what he has maintained is the intrinsic and core value of the brand. He has done justice to the luxe and grandeur behind a big fashion brand. However, in this case Heidi in his attempt to do something different has moved away from the very core. It really feels like SL has gone a little far to get rid of the “Y” which has kind of backfired. I am not the one who can afford super luxe stuff but I usually draw my inspiration from these runways but this one like many have rightly said looks straight out of a high street fashion catalogue. It isn’t bad but it isn’t LUXE for me. Yes Ready to wear as the term suggests has to be Ready to Wear but at the same time there has to be a distinguishable factor between High street & high Fashion.. Looks like instead of ZARA & H&M ripping their designs, SL has gone ahead and ripped off from them. Ah!! Maybe that could be a strategy to get back to them co now what is their to copy ;-)

    x
    Shonima
    Fashion U Feel (FUF) http://www.fashionufeel.com

  • Bianca

    I’ve always been a huge fan of the saying “art imitates life imitates art.” Over the past few years, watching what people wear to and from the shows has become a runway show in an of itself. Streetwear has become more accessible than high fashion, and has therefore become a source of inspiration for people all over the world.

    One of the comments I saw on twitter about Saint Laurent was that it was Hedi’s collection for lookbook.nu. While I can understand people’s frustration towards Hedi’s departure from the Yves Saint Laurent aesthetic that Stefano Pilati had built up, I like to think of this new collection as a manifestation of Slimane’s appreciation of streetstyle. Applauding the real people that wear Saint Laurent is like handing fashion back to the people who make it their own. DEMOCRACY, YO.

    • Bianca

      Also, I need the bedazzled tights. They make it look like she has unicorn leg hair

  • http://twitter.com/K8RHODES Kate Rhodes

    A cross between Tai from Clueless X Thrift Store X Courtney Love

  • http://twitter.com/K8RHODES Kate Rhodes
  • Jon

    How can anyone be surprised that Slimane designed a collection that was more casual, cool, and “rocker” (hate that I am using that word) than YSL has ever seen? This is what Slimane does! And what made him famous at Dior Homme. YSL would not have brought him on (and would not have approved this design direction) if that is not what they explicitely wanted. I actually like a lot of the pieces. I don’t care that it is not high end French evening chic (almost no one buys those clothes) My only complaint is that the collection is entirely undirectional. If you are going to do this aesthetic, surprise us! Studded black boots? Seriously? If these clothes are going to sell, they should have been FA12, so they were in stores already.
    I like what Leandra says about the sign of a good collection being that you don’t like it when it comes out, but that by the time it hits stores it sort of clicks into place in your mind. That is how I feel about the Burberry Prorsum SP13 collection. I HATED those metalic shirts at first, and thought that Bailey was stretching the brand identity too far but now I kind of love them.
    http://jonatparsons.wordpress.com

  • Desiree K.

    My first reaction to the show: “What the hell is that?”, “It cannot be the right collection, it is a joke!”, “Noooooo”.

    Then, I took the time to have second thoughts. I even wrote an article that you can find here (http://metamorphose-skema.blogspot.com). It is in French though.

    As for me, the real question is: when could/must an artistic director introduce major ruptures in the ADN of the House he/she is running?

    Obviously, for Mr. Slimane, it was maybe too soon.

    Let’s take the example of Chanel, I don’t know how Miss Chanel herself would feel viewing all the plaid patterns, the micro tweed shorts or Chanel sneakers. Now, no one cares, maybe no one except me.

    We should not forget it is difficult for each designer to draw the path the brand is going to follow without scaring the fans and the press.

    He was courageous enough to assume and show us the way he’s seeing Saint Laurent Paris.

    Let’s applaud it and encourage risk-taking in Fashion!

    I hope every Yves Saint Laurent’s fans would found deep inside their heart the way to keep on loving the House.

    Désirée K.

  • Caroline

    I actually love the collection.. I want to wear it like right now. Isn’t the identity of a couture house the spirit and philosophy they express through their shows instead of the style of the clothes?
    About dropping the Y, I don’t really understand.. I guess it’s to make the brand more universal.

  • Annie

    In my humble opinion…the issue is lack of originality. What YSL presented, when he made “wearable” clothes, was something new and fresh. Slimane hasn’t done that here. All I see is Marc Jacobs meets Blumarine meets Equipment meets, I don’t know, Frederick’s of Hollywood? While there are some excellent pieces, but none of them are fresh. There’s nothing there that makes you want to change your proportion or your focus. As a collection, it fails the house and it’s designers, past and present.

  • http://twitter.com/faithkindervag Faith

    I loved this collection at first sight, but only because I love these looks when I see fellow-20somethings (and sometimes, myself) wearing them every day. The issue here is that rather than setting the trends or being ahead of the curve, this collection seems to simply be replicating the current zeitgeist- all of these pieces are already out there. The styling isn’t novel, either. If you walk into Urban Outfitters you can see dress forms wearing these exact outfits. So yes, I do want to wear everything here, but only because I already do. What makes fashion (and new collections/designers) exciting is seeing things in a new light and being inspired. With this collection, I could easily be just as inspired by browsing Cara Delevingne’s instagram feed. Perhaps that’s what Hedi was busy doing when he should have been designing this collection.

  • Karen

    “I’m gonna pop some tags, got twenty dollas in my pocket”………………………….Street fashion run amok. And as usual Hedi’s models are emaciated. Leandre is just not ever a hater, but she is too kind here. I can’t take snobby elitist fashion too seriously other than it can inform and elevate our collective esthetic meaning basically it is pretty so on that level this collection fails. I means seriously I can see baggy plaid shirts with Doc Martens over ripped lace on the street in Seattle anyday……

  • http://twitter.com/elenavasilieva Elena Vasilieva

    Ok, I happened to like the new collection (being kinda grungy and wearable and don’t-really-care cool) and the whole accomplishment of rejuvenation and youthfulness is definitely there. Maybe even a bit on a teenage side though. But there is really no correlation with Hedi’s first collection. Shouldn’t every new collection be an evolution from the previous one, thus preserving the dna of the brand?

    http://www.vasilievablog.com

  • http://newbornfanatic.wordpress.com/ Newborn Fanatic

    It’s nice to have wearable fashion in the runways and I really loved the spring runway for Saint Laurent. However, this one is perhaps too wearable? Who will pay for these high class high money grunge looks that can be purchased at a fraction of a price? The only items that Ii can relate with designer prices would be the coats… I think I’m just waiting to see what the price tags would be for this more modernized runway.

    http://newbornfanatic.wordpress.com/

  • Mora

    I think the problem with this collection are not the clothes themselves, but what they represent. I personally find the collection wereable, beautiful and would buy every single piece which doesn´t prevent me from thinking that it is not a collection worth showing at Paris Fashion Week. It´s great that Slimane expressed his own vision and style and is trying to modernize Saint Laurent and even “appeal to a different, perhaps larger, audience” like you said, but he should do it respecting SL tradition, reputation and greatness. Because the moment you can´t tell a Saint Laurent collection from one by a high street brand, the magic is lost.

  • JC

    This is what I believe is happening with the label. It’s a new age of ready-to-wear and branding if they can pull this off effortlessly.

    The scenario:
    - saturation of the luxury market with an overabundance of labels targeting the top 5% of the population. Competition is fierce, demand is not, and sales is even worse. It shows in the overtly safe and unexciting collections this season.
    - Traditional print media is becoming less and less relevant. It doesn’t affect the customer, the retailers, except maybe the ego of the designer him/herself.

    In come Hedi Slimane. Sensitive, tortured, angry, nihilistic and egoistic. And most importantly, he’s a non-conformist. He moved to LA, said f**k you to Cathy, took out the founder’s first name, and designed two inexplicably “bad” collections.

    All these might come as a bit crazy but to me is a very cleverly designed PR scheme aimed to attract the attention of a new type of customers, the 90s-00s kids. Jaded, sensitive, tortured (self-inflicted), angry (at the establishment), nihilistic, and egoistic. Hedi is the perfect embodiment of the customer he wants to dress. He wants to make SL into a “religion” and the stores their meccas.

    These kids are certainly not the top 5% and they don’t necessarily come from rich families. For all we know they could be so nihilistic that they spend up to 50% of their monthly income for a SL sweatshirt while living in their parent’s basement. They know nothing and doesn’t care about luxury and the heritage behind it, they care to see if a label understand their psych. And because of this, soulless mass retailers like H&M will relate less to them.

    HS first collection has a witch theme. I think he did it to tell people what he’s about to do is a bit like witchcraft. The bigger the criticism from the establishment, the happier he is.

    I do agree in a way he is “democratizing” fashion. And I think the blogger herself is right on point. We are in denial. Fashion does NOT belong to those lucky few who would dress crazy during fashion week hoping to get a photo-op by tommy ton. It belongs to the public. Even though that public is as confused as it could ever be. One thing for sure though, is that in order to jump-start a new movement, one has to flip the middle finger to the “academy”. Manet did it for art, I’m rooting that HS will do it for fashion.

    • A Mans Point of View

      Urrrm, isn’t this what Givenchy is doing but only better? Also, if this a PR stunt it’s an awfully expensive one. Heidi isn’t at Dior anymore, that ship has sailed and this ship is slowly sinking.
      Yes, in reference to the comment about Fashion belonging to the public, it belongs visually to some of the public and actually in the wardrobes of others. Theses kids you talk of were once of the Dior Homme movement and generation and now belong to the Givenchy and don’t rule out the mass movement of H&M who’s collections, collaborations and turnover yearly are putting some fashion houses in the shade.
      If Heidi wants to flip the middle finger he needs to do it in his own time and money. Old money, celebrity money and some new money keeps these fashion houses in business along with no money that buys make up, perfume, handbags and purses. Nothing in this catwalk show is original.

  • kiara

    he was clearly on tumblr for too long. I cringe
    http://www.kas-bah.com

  • DeliaDeals

    If as a blogger you want to prove that you bring more to the discussion than pretty pictures of you in clothes you like and your collaborations, then shouldn’t you have an (informed) view on Saint Laurent’s latest collection instead of passing the responsibility onto your commentors? This isn’t Dear Abbey. Otherwise surely Suzy Menkes was right and bloggers are just fashion’s hanger-oners and white noise.

  • Zoé

    To be honest, I was really confused when I first saw the collection. It’s not completly wrong or bad but it’s not Saint Laurent. In comparison to the last one, nothing can let us say “that’s Slimane personnal touch”. I mean, yes you can try to modernize a brand or to give it a twist, but people must be able to say “ok that’s Saint Laurent”.

    I was a bit disappointed too, because I liked the last collection a lot. Young, powerful and sexy woman. Here it’s more like grungy girls.
    And Saint Laurent is a luxury brand that should make us dream. Here you can find the same clothes in a thrift shop or at Topshop. Kind of boring maybe ?
    Well, really confused too finally. Hope to see something better next time though.
    Best regardes from Switzerland :)

  • http://ravenmaidenmaven.blogspot.com/ Lydia Teo

    Okay, the collection was not terrible, BUT the thing is its not Saint Laurent AT ALL. If you showed me the photos without me knowing its from YSL, I’d never have guessed in a million years. I think that is whats making die hard Saint Laurent fans so up in arms about the collection.

    ravenmaidenmaven.blogspot.com

  • A Mans Point of View

    This is a diffusion line at best, at worst “Saint Laurent” for Target or at friendly Zara. If Heidi was starting up his own label this would’ve been okay but the fact that he is messing with an iconic label that was doing okay makes it a joke, its almost like Marc for Marc Jacobs suddenly becoming Louis Vuitton. Yes, this is very wearable…. extremely wearable but it doesn’t differentiate from whats already on the high street because it looks like we have a case of reverse fashion where Heidi copied straight from a Topshop window! (or old Marc Jacobs collection)

    fashion houses make clothes to be desired, that differs from whats already available… thats original and what people want to copy. This is none of these things, and along with his last collection which was Jennifer “j-Lo” Lopez circa 2001 my love don’t cost a thing video i don’t think he is up to the job.

    Heidi, too many changes too soon and none have benefitted the label. I give him one more season before he is replaced

  • anon

    as someone else commented- if this didn’t have SLP on it, you would think it a h&m presentation from maybe a season ago!? i don’t care about legacy and all that jazz- i’m sure ysl knew what they were doing when they appointed hedi slimane. but it’s just not interesting or progressive and if it weren’t ysl you wouldn’t be over analyzing that point.

    secondly, as a person who does not work in fashion/live in new york/does not have a large amount of money this shit is not “wearable”. IT’S STILL YSL and it will STILL cost a few weeks of my wages. people need to check their privilege. (this is also the reason i can’t relate to the man repeller so much anymore, everything you wear is so obscenely out of my price range it’s veered out of my realm of enjoyment. please don’t think me rude, i have no issue with peoples personal wealth and what they choose to do with it but it’s hard to swallow sometimes when one pair of your shoes would cost a fortune to the everyman. i realize i am a hypocrite, because i should just stop reading if i don’t like it)

    furthermore, i understand that it’s not literal, the wearable aspect means that it’s translatable, people get it, people will be able to buy the filtered down versions but AGAIN, so? this isn’t old enough to be vintage but it’s definetely not new so what’s the point? high fashion is aspirational and creates new things, new trends, new ways of looking at things and us lowly commoners can buy the trickle down trends or go and make it our own, and this isn’t…anything…it’s just so boring?

  • http://twitter.com/AnabelMald0nad0 Anabel Maldonado

    In response to your brilliant last paragraph: that chic French customer still exists (and she’s probably refocused her attention on Céline); that disheveled girl is not the new prototypical woman, some of us still take time to groom. I think the issue here is that fashion is still supposed to be aspirational. Not many women aspire to look like an unkept lost soul on a tail end of a 3-day bender. It really was disheartening to see and I have no sympathy for Slimane.

  • Share Design

    It’s simple bring back the House of Yves Saint Laurent.
    http://Www.sharedesign.com

  • Share Design

    Bring back classic Yves
    http://Www.sharedesign.com

  • Marissa

    That super chic French, overwhelmingly rich customer may not have ever existed in one form, but elements have definitely existed through multiple icons (Brigitte Bardot, Jane Birkin, all the Clarins sisters, Carine Roitfeld, and on and on), and we have spent so much time daydreaming and planning that oh-so-chic and luxe yet carefree outfit and, not to mention the money, it actually took trying to achieve that, only to realize it will never be quite as amazing as what walked down the runway. YSL exemplified it, and now (aside from the plaid sweater in pic 5), it appears the dream is dead. Somehow Slimane ignored every chic and fashionable woman that could possibly inspire him and went strait to Courtney Love’s closet. Really, big fat bummer.

  • Meagan Labue

    The problem I have with this entire fiasco is that I feel that Heidi Slimane has made this collection look like it was made by Heidi Montag. First, taking the Yves out of Yves Saint Laurent angers me incredibly because this brand was created through tremendous hard work and to “rebrand” it is a complete insult. The new collection looks cheap, which in high fashion is never something that is hoped to be achieved. I feel that by rebranding Slimane is saying that the brand was failing, which is not true in any way because YSL is one of the most sought after brands in the world. I find it disrespectful and much, much too early for such a departure from the classic beauty that is Yves Saint Laurent. The last thing I want to say is that I will never refer to Yves Saint Laurent as Saint Laurent, that is like changing Ralph Lauren to Lauren or Zac Posen to Posen or Vivienne Westwood to Westwood.

  • http://twitter.com/emichan4japan Emi Chan

    This is my second time reading your blog, the first was your Suzy Menkes rebuttal, can I call it that? Now am back and was interested to see what you had to write on this collection, you played it safe, maybe still processing the show or are a bit more careful with your posts? having only read two, I have no idea, and it looks like I am late in the game for comments, seeing some were made five days ago. anyway here goes… I am a fan of Hedi Slimane and loved what he did at Dior Homme and really enjoy his photography, the band pics for sure, but the fashion.. a bit too much copying dave sims and inez & vinoodh, but at least he copies the better ones. I liked his first collection a lot and it was very editorial, hence why you see so many pieces being used for mags, so I am sure it was a success in stores. This collection I did not like at all, a combo of Wasteland (thriftstore in LA) and Hot Topic. Maybe he did go to Wasteland to rummage through there and find inspiration, I guess he found a lot. It was done too literally for me, if he had taken elements and reworked them, fine, but that is not what I saw and I have looked at the show several times, just to be sure of my initial strong hatred of it and yes, I still hate it. I have read facebook posts from friends about the show how they think he nailed it and did such a great job, what a load of crap. For those people I say it is the emporer’s new clothes and now the internet has given voice to the people who will call it out and not agree with the suck ups and brown nosers of fashion, which they all are. I think they just don’t like to hear anyone else’s opinions, but their own, I think that is what the old fashion matriarchs have a problem with, they can call it their knowledge of the history of fashion, but they too started out as the outsiders, couturiers did not have critics, only the customers who wore their clothes, you either liked it and bought it or didn’t and it will be the same with this, only time and money will tell if it sells.

  • Living In Clips

    My problem with Saint Laurent’s new face is the quality or now lack of it – if you take a look at the YSL shoes, bags and clothing that still line the shelves next to the new Saint Laurent collections you will see a distinct lack of quality between the old and the new. The shoes look cheap and badly made ( interior and exterior ) right down to the detail in the branding – it all looks cheap. If these held a better look of quality that you expect from an old French Fashion House then i would have less of a problem with this re-branding for the so called modern woman.

    http://www.livinginclips.com

  • Lord E

    I truly love your sense of style and your blog. But to say “Isn’t this precisely what Slimane is trying to do? Appeal to a different, perhaps larger, audience? The democratization of fashion at YSL in 1966 is not so different from the shift we’re seeing at Saint Laurent now.” at those prices and with those looks, is sad. It’s one think to make excuses for a great designer like Heidi for producing yet another poor collection under the Saint Laurent house, but it’s an entirely different matter when you say this joke of a display was comparable to the revolutionary work Laurent himself did. Utterly ridiculous!!

  • MK

    sa collection était nulle à chier … go figure what that means!! <3

  • JAMES FARIS

    17 outlets in China and Japan. I think it is clear what the house is doing.

  • Laura Gandee

    I just think the collection looks like something out of the juniors department and isn’t the kind of thing grown-up women with money are likely to wear. IMHO.

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