The opening salvo of Smokings, jabot tied throats of billowing chiffon blouses and his signature skinny, crotch foreshortened trousers were interesting for the first 6 exits until I saw quickly that this was the big and the small of his message. The trousers looked ill suited to the models attenuated and emaciated bodies. Though he ushered in this (new) proportion 7 years ago, it no longer has the sizzle it once did. Coupled with shoes that challenged the best of the ladies to walk seductively, or to just walk at all, there was a feeling of tension in the parade. The hats didn't help. It looked like a coven of witches had descended though I know that was not his intent. Still, they looked like witches. The beaded cardigans were beautiful as were many of the jackets, both Smokings and leather motorcycle versions. But the trousers whether in leather or wool stopped the flow of the picture. Slimane's takes on classic YSL iconic styles like the long suede Safari gown, the Moroccan blouses and long billowing skirts and some tiered pleated chiffon gowns were neatly presented but didn't feel new or different. They merely referenced and failed to presage anything to come.
Black was everywhere with momentary breaks of grey/brown and a grey with a few exceptions near the end. Tailoring was the sole technique at play. The "Flou" that we all have loved and anticipated, at least I did, was basically 7 shapes in blouses, long swinging skirts and a djellaba. That's it. They were cut again and again, mostly in black and then in brown, grey, green, red and blue. Making a statement and sticking to it is the name of the game, but this was a little short on ideas, or at least new ones. I liked the black chiffon gowns for their purity and spare detail. The belts were also great. I wondered if he and Rachel Zoe had spent a few nights on the town in L.A. before he got down to work. The clothes looked distressingly like her idea of (Y)SL. I do think that it all had more sizzle than Dior. At least it was sexy. Perhaps, over time Hedi Slimane will do for women what he so ably has done for men.