Ladies and Gents, This is PFW Dispatch #5

Before it’s a wrap, here’s a look at Saint Laurent, Chanel, Valentino, Stella McCartney and Giambattista Valli


Say what you will about Hedi Slimane; the man knows how to excite people. He’s garnered a sense of control over the anticipation factor in fashion show goers unlike any other designer — when you’re getting ready for a Saint Laurent show, you’re getting ready. What will he do next? What will the critics say? It’s a flurry of questions you want answered while you wait in a dark room at The Grand Palais, watching everyone trickle into their seats, and specific to this season, find yourself wondering about the neon laser beams dancing overhead.

Of course, the answer to the first question hasn’t varied too dramatically. If last season reminded us that the 90s can’t stop, won’t stop, this season traveled back one more decade to reminisce about that which we left in the 80s. Up first: pointy kitten heeled pumps and lurex socks. But did we want them back? Furthermore, there was a bout of sequins in varying animal prints worn as one-shoulder tops and cocoon style jackets. Also making an appearance were tight mini skirts, long men’s coats, and some well tailored pants and jumpsuits plus chokers that kind of look like a metal intestine wrapped around the neck.

The real question or point of compliment is in how dramatically Slimane is able to make his girls look so cool. To answer my above question — no, no one has been anticipating an 80s kitten heel redux. Except maybe the former cast of Teen Witch. But when they’re available and we can have them, will they look fresh? Probably. As for the suiting, nothing says power quite like it.

The same location the following morning called for a more dramatic, albeit hyper-literalized nod to art as fashion, or is it fashion as art? While Saint Laurent and Chanel had little in common beyond some version of black pumps and calf-length socks, important to note is the message.

Jay Z’s “Picasso Baby” played a full eight minutes while we watched a legion of 89 looks — some literally riffing off the notion of fine art (dresses that appeared like palettes) — tell a story. While the clothing appeared decidedly wearable, the real sense of fun and mystification was probably in an array of accessories, like a knapsack spray-painted with the Chanel logo (some kid at Parson’s might be kicking himself because he didn’t do it first, or perhaps worse, because he did), and a headset-inspired choker featuring two large pearls that resemble speakers clasping the necklace at the collar bone.

The day earlier, Giambattista Valli and Stella McCartney debuted their spring collections in celebration of their respective women and that which gets her wheels churning.

McCartney featured some of the suiting she’s become famous for in neutral hues and dainty fabrics while playing with proportions on some of her dresses (cut and sewn together skirts in silk and chiffon, an elegant obstruction of a lady’s legs), and sheer overlays in the form of embroidered, see-through fabrics to cloak the modest silhouettes made sexy by the discernment of slip dresses, which in my opinion were the stars of her show. To look at a dress and think, “man, I want to wear that right now. It probably packs so easy” seems to be a key factor overlooked when considering the international fashion weeks and the travel it demands.


Where Giambattista Valli is concerned, peek-a-boo mid-length dresses, peplums, those now ubiquitous sheer overlays and a series of decidedly mini, extravagantly but subversively elegant shorts, dresses and skirts were, put simply, beautiful.

And where my fashion week ended yesterday at Valentino (which was actually a decade further into the distance at some iteration of an opera house), fringe duster-style coats and clutches, bright embroidery on various A-line gowns and mini dresses, indicative of an old world church, gold chain chokers, headbands, pinky rings and the gilded scarabs on the flat sandals which pervaded the entire collection, officially marked the end of the Rockstud and a whole new beginning for the same exact girl.

Now, where to find a cape?

Okay, your turn! Because at Man Repeller, everyone is a critic, we have to know: what do you think of these collections?

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  • Mimi Jackson

    I LOVE CREATIVITY AND VARIETY. Having said that, though. I wouldn’t be caught DEAD in most of these looks. Even if I could afford them.

  • My problem with Heidi Slimane’s collections (both this and the previous one) is that – no matter how unexpected and thought provoking they are – don’t seem very Saint Laurent to me.

    • Leandra Medine

      Yeah–that is a point that is made over and over again and while I totally see where you’re coming from, this collection in particular actually used various elements from the archives of Saint Laurent like that lip printed blouse which closed the show and one of the featured one shoulder, black and white zig zag high-low tops.

      I think Slimane is in a very strange in-between place right now. He doesn’t want to untether what is emblematic of the house’s DNA but when it starts to get tangled and conflict with his own DNA, for better or worse, the latter might be overriding the former.

  • claudia

    Love the YSL suits but hate the shoes. The Chanel bagpack is so cute but my favourite collection is Giambattista Valli. Great post!

  • Rodi

    Hedi Slimane is overrated. His collections are overrated with most of the pieces ugly and boring. He is not even trying to hold on to the YSL legacy. Hedi Slimane design consists of slick suits, that’s all.

    • Martine

      Thats certainly your opinion…. respectfully Id say “wrong”

  • Em Berlin

    Loved how you said when you get ready for Saint Laurent, your getting ready! Hedi Slimane is the fashion equivalent of a celebrity tabloid. When he did his last shocking collection with body stockings, and re-located to LA, it was like he was going off the rails like some of the celebrities there, but in fashion, and a totally cool and interesting way- if that makes sense. Everyone was saying that he had shamed Yves Saint Laurent, but really, since he made his big Miley-like ‘I don’t care about what you think’ statement, we’re all waiting for what he’s going to do next. I think in a way he’s trying to prove that you can’t love fashion and care about what people think, I love it and I do think that his designs are what people want.

  • CarolinaG


    I’m posting looks from Los Angeles and accessories:

  • Sinje Lesemann

    I think Slimane, as Yves Saint Laurent back in the day, understands what cool girls want to wear. And this is and always has been the essence of of Saint Laurent (or Yves Saint Laurent/YSL/Rive Gauche…). Personally I think Slimane’s Saint Laurent looks like Dior Homme but its undeniable cool and with a distinct point of view

    • My Fashion

      I agree. His design seem to be very basic and simple but I would wear every single piece he designed!

  • Alba B.

    Personally I think these designers could have express themeselves even better. We have seen some of their previous collection stand out compared to these ones.

    Saying this doesn’t mean that you cannot find any nice single piece, as your pictures demonstrate, but unfortunately this doesn’t happen to be the fortune of the entire collection. It is a pitty!!!

    How much ctrl +C & ctrl+V of Dolce & Gabbana collection we can recognize in Valentino collection?!!

    Though I think during these fashion week there have been some astonishing designers that I would love to have in my closet such as prabal gurung and delpozo.
    By the way what do you think about the adieu of Jacobs?!!

  • Johanna Moroch

    I enjoyed the retro looks, but kind of missed the futuristic stuff. Such beautiful workmanship and decoration, though. The Paris and Milan shows are always exciting!

  • Lo

    I loved that Chanel layered bags on bags on bags (the backpack was amazing). And as far as the Saint Laurent collection, Karl Lagerfeld even said that he lost all his weight just to wear suits by Slimane. So Saint Lauren must be doing something right.

  • Paola Sofía

    Heidi Slimane is trying to provoke a change that feels more like a retro flashback! Instead of seeing the future of fashion and Saint Laurent as a brand, I feel like on the set of “The Carrie Diaries”. He has to get out of the fashion limbo that his brand and his personality conflicts are creating and start crafting a well thought out personality for Saint Laurent. I would love to see the beautiful and incredibly comfortable “Tribute” Sandal have a fashion makeover that would bring them back into the Laurent circle.

  • My Fashion

    My favorite #PFW shows and collections were ones by Isabel Marant, Balmain, Saint Laurent and Anthony Vacarello. U love wearable and stylish design that can inspire you and give you realistic solutions to your new outfits! IM is my “must have” this season again! Hugs,

    My Fashion

  • Giambattista & those drastic & daring silhouettes. But of course Valentino was breathtakingly beautiful.


  • Leandra Medine

    Yes, I was, and what a bummer! Would have loved to see that IN THE FLESH

  • I need that spray painted chanel logo knapsack!! 🙂 Chanel is always so lovely to look at and this collection was no exception. It didn’t stun me like the last fall collection but the color palette was so pretty to look at and I love that the collection stayed true with the traditional tweed and actually made it look laid back. “Oh, you know, just some casual tweed” lol.

    As for Saint Laurent. Omg, how does he make his girls look so cool?!! I keep staring at the collection and the other collections but I really just cannot figure it out! I mean, you can get a lot of his runway styles at a fraction of a price but the collection is undeniably cool!! What gives?? 😛

  • Martine

    I want that suit like I have never wanted anything in my life. Maybe I can sell my car?