The big question around Saint Laurent is whether Hedi Slimane will stay on or whether the good ol’ contract terms issue will become a sticking point that means Kering waves goodbye to the designer that has helped propel the label’s sales ever higher.
We haven’t had an answer to that yet but we have had an answer to the question: what will Saint Laurent do for AW16?
The answer? Well, Saint Laurent is doing YSL – after a fashion. This felt like the most Yves Saint Laurent-ish of all Slimane’s collections for the label, and it was meant to as it was couture not RTW. But it was a YSL homage with a subversive edge.
And if any designer wanted to eclipse the attention paid to Demna Gvasalia at Balenciaga a day earlier, this was just the way to do it – via an old-school couture show with an absence of the music that’s a staple of every RTW runway.
It may have contained echoes of Saint Laurent circa late 70s-into-80s but it was also pure Hedi – the excessively skinny, oh-so-grumpy-looking models made sure of that.
We got extreme versions of the YSL tux suit, plus mini-skirted 80s dresses with power shoulders, plenty of sequins, fur chubby coats, leather joggers (or harem pants as they’d have been known back in the day), even puffball skirts. Some of it was too extreme to appeal to anyone but Lady Gaga and Anna Dello Russo. But tone it down a little and it will appeal to the youthful client that has taken Slimane’s saint Laurent to its heart in recent seasons.