Hedi Slimane might be leaving Saint Laurent. It is another shocker for us who have been shrugging the rumors away for a while now. But when Kering chairman and chief executive Francois-Henri Pinault states that a decision will be made by the end of March, we expect the worst. Talks are one thing, but there is a reason rumors start generally and it may be the last Hedi Slimane Saint Laurent show we see this year. The Saint Laurent fall/winter 2016-2017 runway show was actually held in Los Angeles, the City of Angels, and it might just be the last runway show Slimane gets to do there.
He became creative director of the brand in 2012 and really helped change the style, pulling it back out of the fading history it was becoming, albeit sometimes in a trashy manner. We can still remember the show where it appears the collection had brought some low paid hookers to the scene. That was his grunge we know, with literal interpretations of thrift shop looks based on that of Jimi Hendrix, Kurt Cobain, and Coachella rockers.
This year, it is the 50th anniversary of the Rive Gauche collection and the celebration is apparent. Moving away from the grunge glamour look, Slimane has brought in some chic styles that once again smell of wealth and a good fashion sense, as per what Yves Saint Laurent stands for. It was a combination of men’s and women’s styles with gorgeous gold on black printed wide pant legs, lovely leather jackets with accentuated shoulders, leather culottes, silk blouses, silver jackets and some oversized belts cinching in the waist and finishing off the outfits with quite the crescendo.
While the hair and makeup still has remnants of the grunge, the clothing itself has evolved into something more relatable and likeable, something a woman can wear out for a day in town, heading to work or even on a date. We do see leather pants appear on too thin models, but it is the ensembles with the leather jacket, skinny pants and silk scarf blouses that really get our attention.
The runway featured 93 looks and we were loving them. Most of these were men’s as well, which made it all even better. Studded skirts and long leather coats with fur collars really do attract us, while there is just something about combining velvet and leather that creates a beauty only Saint Laurent understands.
No, we have to say that the Saint Laurent fall 2016 collection brought the brand back entirely and we have enjoyed every last second of the show. Jumpsuits with culottes, check! Tiger prints, check! Glittering gold dresses, check! There were some animal themes in there as well, from the tiger stripes to the golden peacock feathers, the leopard print pants to the jaguar coats.
Silk, satin, leather, tweed, velvet, suede and just about any other material appeared on the runway, though we are glad there were no ostrich feathers. It was undoubtedly sexy, even with barely any skin shown. Perhaps that added to most of the allure as there was an oldies but goodies effect to the whole of the line-up. Thank you for this Hedi, we really needed it!
Photos courtesy of Vogue