Saint Laurent sure loves being contrary. For his first autumn/winter RTW collection, contrarian extraordinaire Hedi Slimane gave us proper lesson in house evolution with a Saint Laurent collection that added a pleasant dose of rebellious grunge. The connecting thread lies, of course, within the attitude of the Saint Laurent woman – she’s a smart, independent, fast-talking dame, who stands where she pleases and blows smoke in the face of her adversaries.
But instead of demure, Marlene Dietrich le smoking jackets of YSL past, it’s the grunge tartans and biker chick leathers of Saint Laurent present. A black dress constructed of bands of leather strips emphasises the bare essentials of modern womenswear. Tartan and floral print dresses with Peter Pan collars were given a Saint Laurent punch with empire waists and black boots, adding a Gothic twist to otherwise cutesy forms. From bejewelled, studded hotpants paired with floral blouse and a luscious fur coat, to a sheer, skimpy slip dress with oversized tartan jacket, the AW13 Saint Laurent woman brings the contrarian full circle from woman debonaire to anti-establisment dreamer.
Whether or not you like it (and some, like Cathy Horyn, didn’t), one thing’s for certain – to remake the much-loved image of a YSL woman takes guts. We’ll just have to wait and see what Hedi does next.