Sunday, April 6, 2014

Saint Laurent Fall2014: Toot Toot, Ahh, Beep Beep!

Fashion shows nowadays too often bring out the very worst in people. By people I mean the designer and the audience. A lazy, self absorbed designer is as unlikely to go that extra mile as is an audience so starved for anything resembling something new that they will cheer anything hanging from the shoulders of a model as long as it’s coming from a “brand “of note. This sheep mentality only encourages overpaid, under-achieving talents to do even less on an ever grander scale.

Hedi Slimane at Saint Laurent is a case in point. His collection for Fall2014 though more coherent than last season is again a parade of mod, Edie Sedgwick-inspired naughty, nasty girls that had their day when heroin addiction, cinematic bad behavior and self-destruction were the pre-requisites for 15 minutes of fame. Well that along with pet rocks, Opium perfume and Escher prints on your dorm room walls should be things of the past. The “Slim-mutts” or "Slum-mettes" take your pick, Hedi’s posse of bad girls, sulked down his runway with its golden beams that rose and fell hydraulically creating an alee’ one minute and a tunnel to nowhere the next were all parodies of naughtiness. These fetishized girl/women in their little leather skirts, micro-mini kilts, tights and multi-strapped Mary Janes were like a pack of zombies come back for blood. With enormous eyes, long lank hair and knobby knees, they made a valiant attempt at taking charge of the conversation, if the dull drone of mumbling counts as conversation…

Coats were best. Capes were redundant by then, as everyone had gotten the memo that capes were it. Little shift dresses in gold sequins with na├»ve abstract shapes tossed on them or as a jungle of animal prints came one after the other with little effect. They were too close to the regrettable little Baby Doll dresses of last season that looked poor. But considering Slimane is challenged to find novel ways to tell the one sliver of a story he has to share, there’s little else to trot out to drive home the point. Leather biker jackets took up some slack but not in any way that seemed new.

The furs were the most glaring items to raise the question of just what is luxury to the house of Saint Laurent. No Broadtail, Sable, Chinchilla or other exotic fur or skins were in evidence. Not one bit of croc was anywhere in evidence except one fawn colored mink  jacket, so pretty it stuck out like a sore thumb. It must have belonged to a model that refused to take it off. Otherwise, the coats and jackets were cut from “plates” of assembled fur scraps. These plates consist of bits and bobs from the bellies, tails, armpits, ears and butts of furs, in this instance sable. Many of those little pieces that make up this collage are paws. This is not a PETA rant, this is a CHEAP rant. One uses “plates” when one cannot use whole pelts to be assembled by master furriers. Plates are like a hunk of fabric to smack a pattern onto, cut away and sew up on any old machine. Like spam or headcheese, these furs were just conglomerations of scraps, and they looked like it; spam patties parading as Filet Mignon. “Road kill… from the ditch to the b…..” well you catch my drift.

The few variations on the classic Smoking saved the show, as did some interesting boots and bags, the only things showing any real value to my eye. The provocation that the clothes and petulant expressions of the girls created was still little more than an annoyance. Juxtaposed against a collection like Valentino's full of ideas, modernity, luxury and desirability, Saint Laurent had no such effect. Pierre Berge must be suffering in silence or we’d be hearing his rant by now.

In contrast, at the end of the Valentino show, Mr. Garavani and his partner Giancarlo Giametti are seen embracing the pair who are now at the helm of the house. Tears shared between the 4 of them and cheers from the audience were a stark contrast to the Saint Laurent proceedings whose front row was crammed with rockers passing around and guzzling magnums of champagne. But that’s the difference a ditch can make.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I totally agreee, but Hedi Slimane is doing exactly what HE wants to do, without it having any relation to YSL's legacy! I never understood the change of the name, but on top of that Slimane is the last person I would have thought to be chosen for YSL... or Saint Laurent. He does not even work in Paris but from LA. His style is completely different (i.e. Slimane's Dior Homme days). They might as well make another brand instead of using YSL's name!