Teen Spirit

Saint Laurent Goes Grunge

Hedi Slimane’s second women’s wear show for Saint Laurent showed in Paris on Monday night -- and so far, the response is mixed. Industry commentary on Twitter is remarkably neutral, with most people referencing the soundtrack or celebrity attendance.

Derek Blasberg tweeted that the collection “made me nostalgic for my Kurt Cobain era flannels and sparkly tights the girls in my high school pom-pon [sic] wore” and British Vogue called it “Cool to the core.” Buzfeed’s Amy Odell, on the other hand, tweeted: “Who will dare to unleash their honest thoughts about Saint Laurent this season?”

To an extent, it was true: the fashion flock was cautious to share their honest opinions of Saint Laurent after Cathy Horyn’s negative review of the designer’s first show last season was met with an attack from the designer. (Needless to say, she wasn’t invited for the second season either). On site post show, attendees did seem uncertain -- perhaps worried -- about offering an opinion too soon, or too publicly — lest they not be invited back. Has Hedi Slimane created a culture of fear?

So what of the actual collection? Well, for fall, Slimane has moved on from last season’s 70s rock and roll muse to a 90s grunge girl — her hometown, however, is still very much LA (where Slimane is based). The models, with their dirty blond hair and frisky strut, looked like they’d thrown together an outfit last minute and toussled their hair in the hallway mirror just before leaving the house. They looked effortlessly sexy, and they knew it.

Although there was that grungy-vibe (flannel shirts and biker boots), it was girly, young even. There were peter pan collars, baby doll dresses, and hemlines reminiscent of Courtney Love – but, unfortunately, won’t be kind to anyone over the age of 30. It was cute, though, and easy to imagine babes like Erin Wasson and Sky Ferreira (who sat front row) making it their own. Less so the label’s long-time enthusiasts Catherine Deneuve and Betty Catroux (who were also present), but then, Slimane is a modern man and this is very much his vision. Given his experience no one can deny that he is exceptionally talented, but it will be interesting to see his version of Saint Laurent unfold further.