Slimane Slam Dunks
Or: How Hedi Got His Groove Back
Something interesting that we noticed while flipping between the Saint Laurent resort look books on both Vogue.com and Style.com is that neither publication has posted a review on the collection just yet. The New York Times has thus far left Saint Laurent out of its resort coverage and while sure, that may be in part because right off the heels of Mens Fashion Week and at the helm of the inauguration of Couture Week, visual stimulation runs amuck and resort is already a season of the digitally distant past, maybe, too, this is our chance to chime in, submit our proclivity toward it and perhaps engage a minor uproar.
The images that tell the tale of Slimane’s resort collection certainly feel more like a glossy editorial than your run-of-the-mill buy, sell, buy, sell look book. In a sea of click-through slideshows, featuring collections choc full of deadpan glares care of the models staring straight into a camera, selling clothes directly off their fragile limbs, like the late Yves, Slimane challenges the format.
While the former isn’t necessarily inventing a jacket to emblematize the interim season, he is trying to revolutionize the way women wear clothes. In doing so, why not edit the way we view his collections too, right? In addition to the motion-activated detail shots that sell not a collection–but a lifestyle, we’re also being told that aura is far more important than a detail as seemingly niggling as color.
Ultimately, we’re not really looking at a collection, are we? We’re looking at a woman created in Slimane’s vision and consequently marveling at how she wears her clothes. Should that make buying the clothes in question slightly more lucrative? Perhaps.
Maybe, too, this is the degreed response Slimane has decided to issue in conjunction with the controversial FW13 collection. A preliminary nod to craftsmanship, characteristic of old house tradition presents itself here in the first instance of a more lavish, less grunge evening dress, (slide #3). There are tinges, too, of Le Smoking. And the cigarette leather pants, sheer button down blouses and impeccably tailored blazers paired with thin-but-masculine belts and classic black pumps that hearken back to older designs. Done so, of course, with the kiss of the new Saint Laurent’s pucker, which should confirm his dexterity to reconstruct a classic silhouette.
As Charlotte astutely pointed out, Slimane is nimble about the way in which he planned to present the clothes to his consumer (frankly, this “first look” isn’t just for editors, or buyers anymore) for the initial viewing. He skips a step from look book to editorial, fusing the two–and decidedly making the material more appealing–in an inconspicuous whiff that reveals just enough to stir curiosity without putting all of his cards out on the table.
But while we’re on the topic of consumer–the jury may still be out on whether Slimane is palpably designing for his house’s historic customer. Is she really wearing that much leather? Still, I’d be hard-pressed to refute his effort to enmesh the sophistication of Yves Saint Laurent with a clean, tailored look that amicably fiddles with Slimane’s obsession with youthfulness and that faint scent of grunge branding The New Woman.
Images courtesy of Vogue.com