Saying that he’s ‘master of the theatre,’ Jessica Bumpus saw rock chicks with immaculate styling and a rock edge aesthetic honed at Dior Homme, with Seventies billowy chiffon. Liking oversized hats, with every look, multiple neck bows, tuxedo jackets, super skinny trousers with their ‘rock credentials.’
Cathy Horyn, banned from the shows, was tentative in her report, for the New York Times. Viewed from streamed images, her words lack the tones of a disappointed critic. I think she really liked it, but isn’t saying! You wouldn’t either, if you weren’t invited, would you?
Business of Fashion loves the idea that Slimane has gone for “commercially lucrative” pieces but hopes the label won’t be too distracted away from its original YSL roots towards a sort of ‘All Saints Laurent!’
Reminding us of Yves Saint Laurent’s controversial 1971 Nazi-inspired show, seen as “a tour de force of bad taste” at the time, BoF thought Slimane’s collection might be a deliberate attempt by the ‘complicated designer to provoke negative reactions’.
For BoF, Suleman Anaya also asks the question about where YSL might be heading under Slimane’s baton. Is it another top luxury brand removing itself from the kind of high-concept fashion that receives ‘lavish editorial praise but performs middlingly in stores?’ Or is it going for ‘money in the bank for retailers.’
Isn’t this what everyone hopes will happen to all Fashion? Slimane’s tactics can’t be bad if YSL is also seen as a lifestyle brand for musicians and those who want to hang out with them. To me Anaya is totally on the button as he winds up with the assertion “It’s tough, but it’s luxury, down to those heavily embellished (and surely expensive) leather boots.”
How is Slimane doing it? It’s probably the seven years with Dior, designing menswear, which gives him the gift to capture traces from the extraordinary creative and vulnerable masters who preceded him. It’s also his schooling in Art History and Tailoring. His visit to the offices of Le Monde, when he thought he wanted to be a journalist is telling. For the creative spirit,I think, it’s all about wanting to communicate thoughts and feelings. It’s what makes Fashion’s heart beat.
Mary Quant’s late husband, the debonair lothario, Alexander Plunket Green, supporting his wife’s exceptional talent, told me that sharp, tailored, clothes, rather than peasant looks, are what’s needed to underpin optimism during an economic downturn.
Slimane, as a French Fashion national/natural, is doing it all. Re-interpreting Yves from beyond ‘peasant,’ through Punk, away from ‘grunge’ through to a democratised high street, to thrill Beats, Hippies, New Wave and Digital Natives. Keeping us all wanting to join the parade. So why is the Fashion jury still out on Slimane? The renaming to ‘Saint Laurent’ seems neat and his eclecticism, dazzling.
As an original Fashion victim, I want to look as much like the post-Modern witches on Slimane’s Paris Week catwalk, as the cyber princesses in their fluorescent trenches at Christopher Bailey’s S/S 2013 London show!