Just a little over a year ago, I remember the moment very well, I got an email from Saint Laurent's PR team. Since at the time I was studying in Paris for the semester, I had sent invite requests to most of the designers showing during Paris Men's Week. Saint Laurent obviously was on top of my list, so the anticipation had been building for a while. Getting any kind of answer from the Saint Laurent team felt as a victory, so I was basically prepared for anything. I opened the message, and sadly they confirmed what I had already feared; there was no space for me. For now the email is some kind of token of acknowledgement of my existence in the fashion industry, even though my request was declined.
On the day of the show, just after I attended the Agnès B show, I was going for a stroll in Le Marais, when I passed the Saint Laurent venue of that eve. I didn't know the location of the show beforehand, but seeing it in person kind of made me feel like I was part of the experience. I might not have gotten an invitation or have seen the venue from the inside, at some point someone at Saint Laurent must have read my email and maybe even taken a look at this blog.
Enough of the throwback to a time gone by (it is a year ago already after all), let's just take a look at what Hedi Slimane is up to next spring. Slimane seemingly works within a certain framework (read: California rock), but knows to change it up every season by finding inspiration in different ages and subcultures. So this time, he steered away from the very feminine/androgynous approach of last season, for a much more boyish look coming spring. Gone are the heeled boots, see through shirts and even skinny jeans (at least for most of the show). This show looked like a bunch of cool kids went through some of the recent collections, picked their favourite couture-ish items and combined them with their own vintage, ripped Levi's 501s, some locally crafted knits and commonly available high-street shirts. The result is a highly desirable look. After all it was a bunch of cool kids who did this. And who doesn't want to be cool?
As much as I hate to admit, I start to see that much of Saint Laurent's collections is indeed what haters call 'normcore'. I do think though that the complete idea behind Slimane's shows is absolutely admirable and something highly influential, not to mention the great craftmanship that does go into the jackets and coats; the best items of this (and any) Saint Laurent collection really. I am still a fan.