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 and 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

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  • celine

    I’m surprised no one is talking about the fact that his new bag is looking so much like a Hermes Birkin one. That’s a shame!

    • naomi

      I don’t see it, like that at all. Saint Laurent is trying to get an edge when there are likes of Celine, Chanel, Prada and Hermes. They all have the same structure. I don’t think it’s about copying. I think it’s simply getting on board with the same customers. I think the move was perfect.

      • celine

        Well, if you don’t see how close the design of his new bag is to the Birkin’s, then it’s a pity for your eyes. Even the shop assistants smiled in Paris when I told them “so it’s the new birkin by saint laurent?”, they answered “at least you don’t have to wait for that one”. Jean Touitou, the art director and founder of A.P.C pointed that out on Twitter, and I think that he was right. But Celine should not be jealous of Hermes: they also got copied by Slimane with a black leather tote bag.

        The truth is that Saint Laurent’s clothes have never been that commercial, they gather everything that works right now. Copying great ideas from Kitsune, Alexander Wang, A.P.C, Hermes, Celine and others… with a lot more money and a lot more talent image-wise.

  • Rocca

    Beautifully written and straight to all the points! If we hadn’t written a a few days back, we’d swear we read yours and unconsciously conveyed your ideas as ours, being such great admires and regular readers. Please, do enjoy ours right here:

  • ASULikeIt

    It seems like Slimane is making the smart creative moves to not only recreate a new woman for Saint Laurent, but to run with the Altuzarra and Alexander Wang customers.

    • Leandra Medine

      That is a fascinating point.


        good point, and it makes perfect sense

    • zoe_whip

      Yes but is his price point?

  • marinacasapu

    I’ve seen these pictures a few days ago on but I had to take another look right now, because i don’t remember the clothes, all I remember are the model’s amazing chick bones and body angles. A compliment for the model and photographer, not as much for the designer.

    Much Love,



    Tezory Jewelry

  • Opposite Lipstick

    My God her face! Crack wack … sad

  • true, it’s more about the woman than the clothes,
    as I think fashion should, and will, be.

    but I can’t help feeling like the whole should be greater than the sum of its parts, and despite the unmistakable class here, I come away a bit underwhelmed.

    and weren’t commercially-made clothes always selling a lifestyle? Maybe Slim’s just at the forefront of the ultimate merger between runway and retail. just a thought.

    • Leandra Medine

      definitely at the forefront–good points. the decision to bring on a designer whose style is/has been fundamentally different from the old house ethos points directly to that (see also: wang x balenciaga)

  • Lefukaka

    Of course they are wearing leather pants, they are wearing whatever they want. “The New Woman” and Sophia Loren think that age is a state of mind.

    • rachel


  • Alice

    Amazing pictures, cheekbones, lifestyle, new woman, rock/chic, revolutionary, yada yada… aren’t these just tools to manipulate and conceal the fact that the clothes are lacking innovation and originality? For me, this could just as well have been the Sandro resort collection.

    • celine

      I totally agree with you! In France, there’s a brand which is called The Kooples. You can find all Slimane’s ideas in cheap material for 10% of the price…

  • kirbybee

    The debate surrounding Hedi Slimane and the (Y)SL of old is an interesting one to say the least. It’s certainly not anywhere near as black and white as these, beautifully shot, pictures. I often wonder if Slimane was designing this for his own line what the reaction would be? The connection with a fashion house that has a real and often wide ranging history muddies the waters. But nothing in this world can remain static, it’s unrealistic to expect anyone to continue to design the same looks over and over again, plus if they did we’d be lambasting them for that. Slimane seems intend on creating some new, and this lookbook appears to confirm that. I personally think he should be applauded for having the courage to stray so far from the party line.

    • Leandra Medine

      Nicely put.

  • I was surprised that the look book was in black and white, but it really does only enhance the classic attitude of his collection. I know it got a good bit of negative feedback, but I’m a fan.


  • monkeyshines
  • Lisa Thomson

    me thinks black leather is not man repeller material.

  • Hayfa

    Undoubtedly a beautiful collection. The bag is looking a little Hermes-esque


  • At first I was unsure about Slimane’s revamping of Saint Laurent (especially with the omission of the founding father’s first name!) but this collection is nothing short of revolutionary. Love the clothes, love the model, love the images!


  • Angelina

    It was enjoyable to look at the collection in a more lifestyle/editorial direction. I think he is trying to reinvent for like you say “The New Woman”, but is it really necessary to take out the ‘Yves”? That was and still is upsetting. You can reinvent, but I think in order for this change to be successful it has to do it slowly as not to shock its customers into something they may not be totally ready for. I mean seriously it’s been only a few years since his passing!

  • Dale Janee

    Love the dress! Great post! 🙂

    ~Dale Janee

  • Maike

    I really love the style… but who wants to wear it? super thin and Kate Moss. Who else?
    I think I wouldnt get in a leg with my arm! Sorry!

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  • Amazing collection! But I really wonder how women can relate to this model/collection/atmosphere. I mean the whole collection is visually beautiful, but the femininity of that world is still a bit intriguing to me, somewhat bizarre…

  • At first, I was so down and so skeptical of the change that Slimane was bringing to SLP. I think that mainly was engrained in human nature in the sense that we are creatures of comfort, seeking said comfort in familiarity. After the grunge collection, however, something just clicked, and that notion of the fact that he is making a woman instead of a collection makes total sense. Despite the perhaps little physical semblance of the clothing from the different collections he’s created, I think we can really feel the connection. So much of what he does seems to be built on his love for themes like rebellion, as can be found in that sort of rock n roll streak in the clothing, which ultimately comes across with the toughness of the leather and the vulnerability of the sheer tops. He’s making an effort to capture the complexities of the modern women: she can do it all, but she can cry and be vulnerable, because that’s okay too.
    And I think this resort collection is a nice tying-in of the two collections.

  • Andrew

    I am so happy with this resort collection. Being incredibly disappointed with the past few shows (my opinion was about the same as Cathy Horyn’s), this almost makes up for it.

  • A Mans Point of View

    Maybe as a man the first thing I didn’t notice was the clothes but the far to thin model, and then the second was the bag that resembles another very famous bag that is hard to obtain (for both price and waiting list reasons) On further observation I noticed the clothes which are okay but I read didn’t have a natural fibre in them and were very expensive.

  • Slides 2 and 5. Outerwear are gorgeous!
    The lookbook is also gorgeous! Got so caught up looking at the models that I had to remind myself to look at the clothes individually. Seems like these can easily be made by other designers for much cheaper. But, name brand is name brand. Maybe if I had the luxury to easily afford his pieces and therefore actually touch and try on all these clothes, I’ll think that the other stuff that costs less will feel like a meh knockoff…? Maybe it’ll be like wearing an Equipment blouse or a Gap blouse. They’re both great with classics but with a clear difference on luxury. 🙂

  • Rach

    I don’t know. There’s nothing groundbreaking here – he’s basically taking youth fashion to the not-so-youth-y. I don’t mind the re-branding. I really like the idea that he’s trying to wean label whores off that polished Y, but this? It seems like he’s trying to push a point (my Laurent woman is so much edgier than your Laurent woman) and it reeks of the sort of effort you’d associate with 20-somethings who perpetually chase cool.

    Those images are beautiful, though.

  • Levane

    I really enjoyed this piece. thanks Man repeller

  • lululautrec

    I just can’t stop thinking about how much I wish I could rock the sheer blouse with boobs looks. How can this be done in Real Life?

  • Stella

    I absolutely love this collection. It shows that detail and style can be portrayed in many ways besides color.