#2249 Hedi Slimane’s first menswear collection for Saint Laurent Paris is online

Well this is strange. The biggest fashion news story of the past two years – who will succeed John Galliano at Dior? Will Hedi Slimane return to design? Whose collection will be better? – has just climaxed in Paris, with fascinating results. Raf Simons’ first RTW collection for Dior was heralded as ground breaking, while Hedi Slimane’s first at YSL was labelled safe, keeping with the house’s traditions, and (quite unexpectedly), reminiscent of Rachel Zoe’s work as a celebrity stylist. Personally, I far preferred Hedi Slimane’s freshman season – it was laser sharp, tailored and boho-luxe all at the same time, and I would kill for one of those suede safari jackets. Also interesting; how different the two designers’ approaches were in presenting their work. Raf Simons talked to press before the presentation and welcomed questions and quotes. Hedi Slimane’s press team forbade interviews or backstage access, and treated many veteran critics impolitely, refusing entry to several, including Cathy Horyn, over petty, long-standing grudges.

It’s a perfect example of new world VS old: Raf Simons embraces the press with an open, honest attitude and gets rave reviews; Hedi Slimane and/or YSL attempt to control the conversation and play favourites with their guest-list and get slayed. Back in the Dior Homme days, things were different. Blogs didn’t have the power they have now, information wasn’t so easily accessible and the designer-as-recluse probably felt a lot more glamorous. Now it just seems obsolete in an era where literally everything is at our fingertips.

Which brings me to the point of this story: In the wake of all the news stories, the reviews blasting Slimane for his treatment of the media, the Slimane/Simons rivalry headlines; something happened that should have gotten a lot more attention: The first photos of Hedi Slimane’s premier Saint Laurent Paris menswear collection appeared on the label’s website.

I’ve Googled it, and can’t find a single blog post or news story about the collection (press weren’t invited to the show, remember?), so if I’m not mistaken this could just about be a worldwide scoop, because here they are. Slimane’s aesthetic has stayed consistent – note the skinny boys, the exact tailoring, the signature black and white shots, the angular posing, the new take on tuxedos and suiting, the leather and the musical influences. It’ll be fascinating to see these get picked up by the menswear blogosphere – most of the guys I know haven’t been around long enough to remember the impact of Hedi Slimane-era Dior Homme, so will they get into it this time around? It remains to be seen.

Either which way, I’m into it.


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  1. jimmy says

    i think he did an amazing job with the women range but the menswear looks like an adaptation of his womens which makes it just a touch to feminine for me.

  2. Yawn @ Hedi says

    that man is trapped in Dior Homme days…yawn. All he seems to know these days is to create hype and nothing else. Whats next? You already changed the name….

  3. isaaclikes says

    Actually I think it’s the other way around – his menswear always looked like this and his womenswear followed suit. Look at his old collections, you’ll see how good his stuff would look on girls or boys. I like both.

  4. Arum Padma OtakBolong says

    I love that you love what Hedi did, it’s like finally I read a review that actually support him… I don’t know how high people’s expectation, but this collection is truly Hedi, and I love it for that

  5. jimmy says

    i see where your coming from but still stand by what i said. His Dior Homme range though always lean towards slim and metro image still cut like traditional menswear as this is to me almost for ladies.

    for example how the hips of the pants blouse out as if its for ladies hips and the jackets and overcoat cuts in higher almost right under the bust rather than the waist which to me looks very baby doll. both fantastic on ladies but odd on men.

    personal opinion of course and thanks for covering this for us.

  6. MrMark says

    Androgyny and rockstar glam is what Slimane has always been about. I think he brought the visual aesthetic of his photography into this collection, and it looks great. Not crazy about all of the pieces, but I am glad to see the integrity of YSL and its stylistic history remain intact.

  7. sand says

    “– most of the guys I know haven’t been around long enough to remember the impact of Hedi Slimane-era Dior Homme,…”

    Wow- if that is true, then that is scary. if only because it reflects the truely hyper speed at which fashion is changing… you leave the stage form 5mins then you are part of his-tor-y baby. yikes! it is interesting that the power of blogs may reside in those so young, and whose opinons carry so much (supposed?) weight.
    personally, i did think Hedi’s YSL womenswear had very little of his own stamp- for better or worse, it really was very retro, but as a pastiche rather than a sophisticated edgy way as his menswear is. yet to be convinced he can designer womenswear that is more than women in menswar… always loved Stefano for YSL and now i also see how good Tom Ford’s collections for YSL were also- and i never thought i’d really say that.
    as for this Mens collection- pretty sharp, but personally, the teddy boy look don’t do a lot for me

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