Hedi Slimane At Saint Laurent: Nice & No Risk
Hmm…I wish I could start out with a word other than underwhelmed, but that’s basically the biggest take-away for me here. When Raf Simons’ debuted his Couture collection for Dior I was surprised and a little saddened. Not because I felt it didn’t live up to the drama of his predecessor (even though it didn’t), but mostly because there was nothing really new there. No big direction and perhaps even more importantly, it didn’t feel very Raf to me. It felt very Christian, but how long has he been dead now?
Well, don’t worry. Hedi Slimane isn’t even going that far back. He’s comfortable with the L.A. from about 8 years ago. Yes, you could say that it’s 70s L.A., but so what? It was 70s L.A. 8 years ago. I expect more from the man that basically revived Dior Homme from almost certain death. He created slim for men, for christ’s sake. Well, Cathy Horyn from the NY Times may disagree and that’s fine. She does so proudly—and fairly, I might add—even if that means a snub from Hedi. She was not invited to the show. A friend of mine who once worked with Hedi at Dior said he was basically a nasty person. Incapable of bending, yes—but nasty at the same time. I don’t really care so much if he’s a nasty person, just give me some of that nasty on the runway. I’ve long admired Mr. Slimane and what he did at Dior Homme, which is probably why I’m so disappointed here.
I don’t think that taking over the reins of a house (he was given 100% creative control) and then making all your models look like Rachel Zoe at the Chateau Marmont is anything to talk about, let alone mark your debut with. I like the clothes fine, but that’s hardly enough. The big hats were cool and the slim looks worked better for me than some of the Khloë Kardashian long-flowy dress looks.
At first it seems strange, but then I realize: maybe they’re all just too big to do anything interesting anymore. The goal at YSL is to bring in 1 billion Euros of sales by the end of the decade. They want it to be a global player, on par with Chanel and Dior. They want Dior to surpass Chanel. No one can afford the risk when the numbers get to those levels. It’s fashion’s very own ‘too big to fail’ scenario. But worry not, everyone. I’m sure Anna Wintour will come out and publicly bless the collection and call Hedi a rock star or something. It’s gotten all too predictable, folks. I’m starting to think John Galliano was smart to get out when he did.
For all the looks, go here.