The Californication of Saint Laurent.

Hedi Slimane is having a tantrum and has thrown all his toys out of the pram because not everybody loves Hedi. We missed that memo. But I’ll give Hedi points for tailoring, not very big points because he was a menswear designer therefore tailoring should be his strongest suit, but points no less.

Here’s the thing about this whole shebang; it was underwhelming to say the least. For a while I thought I was looking at the Rachel Zoe collection as opposed to the collection of one of the most eponymous houses in Paris, in fashion. And there in starts the problem. When he was appointed as Creative Director of YSL, Slimane decided on some radical changes; he rebranded the company and from what has been reported there are various levels to this new brand; The brand should be referred to as “The House of Yves Saint Laurent”, The collection should be thus credited as “Saint Laurent by Hedi Slimane” and the logo will read “Saint Laurent Paris” but it only goes as far as being a logo and should not be written or spoken about in context of the collection. Okay then. Drama King much Hedi? Oh and let’s not forget the whole Californication of the brand; Slimane lives in Los Angeles where his studio is based but operations are still run in Paris, fittings still take place in Paris and other staff will remain in the Avenue George V offices, which, though not unheard of- Victoria Beckham runs her label out of London, lives in LA and shows in New York, Phoebe Philo lives in London and designs for Celine in Paris- could be an operational melodrama, even if facilitated by modern technology, not least because of such rebranding. At times like these, synergy for the sake of creativity and brand DNA is necessary, one that can only be gained with proximity. So there was all that, which I believe culminated in a half baked collection, everything was too majorly done and in such quick succession too. Hedi Slimane set us up for great expectations and didn’t deliver.

This collection was at best subpar, minus the tailoring of course, (remember Hedi I gave you points for that) but it was weak, like a magician whose grand finale is the coin behind the ear trick. This is something we would expect from a new designer NOT Hedi Slimane, that Slimane. This did his talents no justice. Where Rachel Zoe- whom I am still convinced was the inspiration for this collection, she is after all a 70s child through and through- has her bohemian, 70s vibe down to a science, Hedi Slimane lost his in translation. At times the looks bordered too much on the commercial side, almost like a contemporary high street brand and whilst a RTW collection should be commercially viable, from a house like Saint Laurent it should maintain the brand’s signature, which at this point, we don’t know what that is. There were hats, lots and lots and lots of hats, fringed suede, that provided a touch of western, (does anyone even wear fringed western suede ensembles anymore?) bohemian, sheer, flowing maxis, the skinny tailored suit…yes it was all there, with a reference to the YSL look of the 70s, but it lacked a freshness and elevation, a newness to herald a new era, an amalgamation of the old and new with a note to the future. Otherwise what is the point of the rebranding? Hedi Slimane missed the beat.

Let’s call a spade a spade; this was child’s play from a seasoned designer, a little bit too rock and roll even, it lacked the new vision to go along with the new image. He let his environment cloud his vision, literally and whilst this look may be expected from a certain type of designer, it was unexpected from Hedi Slimane, especially. It wasn’t fashion forward, it barely registered on the radar, if it did, it was for all the wrong reasons. The bottom line; this was just there. Barely.

And that boho brouhaha, srsly? We expected better. Sorry, but #notsorry.