Hedi Slimane has rebuilt Saint Laurent from the ground up for a new generation—almost literally. Saint Laurent shoes are selling like crazy; his glittery Mary Janes and suede Chelsea boots from the past couple of seasons are visible all over the place in fashion crowds these days. And if that success is anything to go by, next season’s trophy buy will be a pair of stomping gold-soled seventies platform sandals. Yes, in a season when the forces of fashion consensus have pinpointed the early seventies as a wellspring of the season, Slimane is truly in luck. It was Yves Saint Laurent who epitomized the nostalgia for the kitsch, glam forties, first time round. Now, forgive the pun, Slimane is rebooting it all for twenty-first-century girls who want to have fun.
Slimane is a supersmart, commercially minded designer. He goes straight to the heart of what very young women wear all the time, i.e.: short dresses and very short shorts (or hot pants, as they were called back in mother’s T. Rex teenage years). So, more or less everything he showed for spring, bar a Le Smoking suit and a pair of cropped leather pants, was a miniscule fit-and-flare forties-ish dress or a pair of high-waisted shorts.\
The sight of all those uniform long, black-stockinged legs had the effect of focusing all attention on the items above: a plethora of little leather jackets and cabans; a pinstriped blazer, a red, cropped Hussar jacket. He pulled out two chubby furs; one a brilliant red, the other emerald green. And naturally, he saved the best of the glitter fest for last. There is just no arguing with the appeal of the striped sequin blazer, the allover bejeweled dresses, or the black velvet cape and the burgundy jacket which came splashed with silver embroideries of fireworks. Even at its most extravagantly luxurious, this collection speaks directly to a democratic common denominator. Even girls who can’t afford this collection will pine to own it. That’s called relevance—a quality many another label will sorely envy.