By Stanley Lui
Hedi Slimane at the age of 44, made his highly anticipated Saint Laurent Spring Summer 2013 women's collection debut at Paris Fashion Week to much fanfare from industry insiders and members of the public alike.
Having taken over the iconic fashion house earlier this month, Mr. Silmane has since made a bold change to name of the house, from Yves Saint Laurent to Saint Laurent, drawing inspiration from Saint Laurent Rive Gauche, the title Yves Saint Laurent himself had used for his ready-to-wear label when it was launched in 1966.
Arguably the most talked about show of the season, it was packed with front row celebrities such as supermodel Kate Moss, singer Alison Mosshart, actresses Selma Hayek and Jessica Chastain to some of Silmane's closest designer friends, Riccardo Tisci, Marc Jacobs, Vivienne Westwood, Diane von Furstenberg, Alexander Wang and Alber Elbaz all of whom turned up at the Grand Palais in a great show of support for the designer.
Right from the start, the collection carried the distinctive markings of the slick and slender silhouettes the designer has famously created during his significant and influential stint as Creative Director at Dior Homme in 2000.
For his debut Saint Laurent collection though, Mr. Silmane softened his iconic look with the use of flowy fabrics to create a womanly elegance to this 1970s Rock ‘n’ Roll inspired collection.
It is the clever manipulation of this pant suit style, through the varying choices for the materials, colours and embellishments that Mr. Slimane derived a large part of the collection, with almost every model decked in cohesive shades of Yves Saint Laurent's signature black.
Being based in Los Angeles probably explained Mr. Slimane's American-influenced vibe with the leather and suede fringes, as well as the cowgirl looking wide-brimmed fedoras -- which are at times matched with silk maxi dresses. It is the sort of look one could have easily imagined the famed American stylist Rachel Zoe carrying.
The subtle luxe and glamour appeal for this collection lies in the use of python skin on the heels and the generous splashes of gold, bronze and silver found on the metal tassel accessories and meticulous sequin work on the jackets and cape.
In a bewitching finale, the models sashayed down the runway in billowy floor length caftans in bohemian colours of vibrant red, teal and daisy blue to dusty shades of brown, lavender and black. Leather belted at the hips, the women wore matching fedoras.
Smoky, mysterious, cult-like and with an attitude, it was the perfect start for Hedi Slimane's debut collection for Saint Laurent.
A truly Rock 'n' Roll Collection from a truly Rockstar Designer.
New Saint Laurent Identity
After Hedi Slimane's catwalk debut for Saint Laurent, the rebranding continues with a new-look website. Months after the announcement of his decision to rebrand the ready-to-wear line as ‘Saint Laurent by Hedi Slimane' in homage to the late designer's ‘Saint Laurent Rive Gauche' lines, and the Frenchman's choice to move the label's design studios to his current home of Los Angeles, the brand's website had been shut down in anticipation of a full rebrand after its show in Paris.
Visitors to the site were treated to a holding image, a downloadable 'baby cat' leopard print screensaver, alongside the Saint Laurent Paris logo, as a song by Liza Thorn plays in the background.
Keeping the same YSL.com url, the site went live the day after the fashion show.
The rebrand has been total; this latest news follows the announcement of the first Saint Laurent Paris store, set to open in Shanghai in early October. It is the first store to be completely designed by the new creative director.