Monday Muse: Saint Laurent’s L.A. Girl Heads to London
A little bit punk, a bit glam and a big dose of rock. Does that seem old hat for the man at the helm of Saint Laurent? Yes and no. Every season, celebs and fashion editors settle in for the spectacle at Saint Laurent. Unfailingly, there will be a show influenced by the music world, whether it’s glam rock, the underground punk scene or the sizzle of the Sunset Strip. Yves dressed Bianca Jagger, after all, and now that Slimane is in charge, he’s channeling the rocker girlfriend and filling her closet season after season. This time around, it was the London underground music scene — Siouxsie Sioux makeup and all.
Working from Los Angeles, Slimane is removed from the trends that pervade Paris and the commercial ethos in New York. In Milan, it’s tough to kick tradition. But in L.A., Hedi has free reign to riff on rock ‘n roll season after season. And though it may seem repetitive, the fact that Saint Laurent’s profits rise season after season mean that Slimane has the world sipping the Kool-Aid, and they all want more.
This season, Slimane offered much, much more. No, there wasn’t a tectonic shift, but there was plenty more embellishment on display and much more skin than last Spring. The London girl loves to be the center of attention, after all, and the thrift stores in Portabello might be a little louder than those in Laurel Canyon. There were zippers and body-con silhouettes under huge chubby jackets (some that sparkled) and those trademark leather Perfecto jackets.
Ruffled, tiered debutante dresses and high-necked schoolmarm frocks were also on display — a girl has to come out during the day, after all — but every look was paired with sky high heels and a few girls had torn fishnets, too. Taken off the runway, the rocker girl pieces would be perfect paired with pieces every girl already owns, including the navy cape and those furs, but styled on the catwalk, it seems like a trip back to the heyday of rock, where the girls were tough and took no prisoners. It wasn’t the romantic bohemia of last season (though Slimane’s iteration of romance is pretty unique).
So while there were no boundaries broken and no new territory tread in those vertigo-inducing heels, these pieces are sure to sell out when they hit stores. And while the rest of the fashion world is chasing trends — the ’80s have been appearing all over, though Saint Laurent’s gal probably didn’t notice — Slimane is staying true to his brand and churning out clothes that girls all over the world covet. Season after season, the cash registers at SLP tell the same tale — and that is music that seems to matter most when it all boils down. And while other labels are all playing musical chairs with their designers (see: Gucci, Schiaparelli, Herm¨s) it seems that Hedi’s seat at the head of Saint Laurent isn’t going anywhere.