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Jean Shrimpton Look-Alikes at Saint Laurent Fall 2014 RTW

As someone fervently passionate about history, music and fashion, I am a huge fan of Hedi Slimane, who has melded all three concepts into a full resurrection of acclaimed French fashion house Yves Saint Laurent. His first show last year was a modern twist on 90s Grunge, which included everything from beaded fish-nets to plaid school girl dresses. His attempt at a 90s revival was not received well by fashion critics, many of whom were appalled and baffled at his abrupt changes to the fashion house. One anonymous editor quoted by Eric Wilson in the Times even went so far to say “I feel like [Slimane] is playing a huge joke on the entire fashion industry”. 

However, the collection as a whole gained a great deal of attention in the public––even standing as the second most viewed collection on Style.com, behind Chanel. Prior to Slimane, YSL had difficulties getting into the top ten, let alone second. Furthermore, when the house’s former designer Stefano Pilari first took the reigns, the house was unable to make a “substantial profit” for six years. Slimane’s single collection, on the other hand, is selling in record numbers; so well in fact, that Bergdoff Goodman is in the process of creating separate departments for Saint Laurent. 

The shock value at the Saint Laurent Fall 2014 Ready To Wear show at Paris Fashion Week was undeniable.  As soon as the first models made way through the impressive golden archway and down the the runway, it was clear Slimane had yet another inspiration: Mods. The middle parts, bangs, leather boots, and glorious textures of velvet and sequins looked straight out of 1960s London. While a transport in time, the collection as a whole felt appropriate. Slimane's logic is clear and cohesive with his previous work: 60s Mod fashion is essentially a polished form of 90s Grunge. Courtney Love raccoon eyes transformed into Twiggy-esque crease liner and prominent bottom lashes. If one thing is for sure, Slimane has perfected menswear for women, as seen in the beautifully tailored blazers, high white colors, and flirtatious bow ties. After watching the show, I discovered my in-satiable need for fuchsia Mary Jane flats. 

Hedi Slimane has recreated YSL by breaking all the rules. His reformative ways thus far have been questionable, but effective––Saint Laurent regained its relevance and dominance in the fashion world. Some love him, others loathe him, but everyone can agree, Hedi Slimane isn’t going anywhere.  

See clips from the show here!

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