I am so pleasantly surprised to see this collection. I had huge reservations given Hedi Slimane’s proclivities. Some of them came shining through and yet he showed what he is made of and what he sees when he mines the archives of YSL. I believe that a part of the issue with this show is the styling which should have had more variation instead of the consistency that was used throughout the show. I believe the gloves were an Yves moment but the excess of leather was a Hedi moment that should have been tempered. Accessories always played a major role in each seasonal presentation and yet we were shown almost none. I am a bit sorry he chose the Talitha Getty Bohemian period but part of my regret comes from the styling rather than the clothes themselves.
Mr. Slimane has shown us his tailoring chops before he ever got to St Laurent where the tailoring is essential but what he has now exposed to the world is his softer and more feminine side which he exhibited to great affect with the dresses and underpinnings. The sheerness and ethereal quality of Yves was apparent as were the tiers and ruffles but with far less flourish than the master. Mr. Slimane gave the clothes a louche quality whereas Mr. St Laurent rarely “espoused” that quality in his collections.
Let’s talk color or the lack thereof in this collection. The choice of no color is surely a daring one for Spring even if St Laurent was a great proponent but with this lack of color and pattern, there is a loss suffered by the collection itself... namely it is difficult to appreciate what one is looking at when everything is so black. More of those Yves moments occurred with the use of nude linings, that momentary hint of leopard or color, the point d’esprit, the tiers, the high/low hems and even the use of a hat. Whereas Mr. Slimane chose a fedora in varying scale, Monsieur St Laurent would have used his boater or straw hats of substantial proportion.
What has transpired here is a loosening of the codes of the house. There is still that razor sharp tailoring but it is slimness rather than just a hard edge and the swagger of a St Laurent suit is altered to demonstrate the new found contemporary take on the suit. Do I think there were too many pants... oh yes I do..., do I think he went a bit too black leather... oh yeah … am I sorry there was so much black... you bet... and most regrettably I was reminded of Rachel Zoe during the last color segment of the show.
Monsieur Slilmane certainly made a formidable outing for his premier collection for the legendary house/brand and he has certainly given us something to look forward to in seasons to come. Last evening I had a premonition that there would be gypsy skirts and I was not far off. Mr. Slimane may have indeed been able to marry himself to Monsieur St Laurent in a most complimentary way.