I really wanted to like this.
Hedi Slimane is no stranger to Yves Saint Laurent and rebranding. He did exactly just that, when he was appointed YSL’s Collections and Art Director where, in association with Yves Saint Laurent’s co-founder, Pierre Berge, relaunched the label as YSL Rive Gauche Homme in 1997. We all know how that turned out because Tom Ford literally, defined the glamorous, sexy YSL as many know today in 1999. With Ford’s departure in 2004, the label gradually went into decline once more as it welcomed the 21st-century. Last year, when Slimane was named Creative Director, he very much went the same cookie-cutter route and relaunched the label under a new name. While the iconic abbreviation still lingers on, Yves Saint Laurent became Saint Laurent Paris… then on a cold late autumn’s day, became Saint Laurent.
His work on women’s wear, as seen on Rose Huntington-Whiteley and Gwen Stefani, have impressed – the casting of Australian model Julia Nobis to front the women’s campaign saw to bring back some of the sexiness and style that came with Tom Ford’s designs. But with the menswear, Slimane seems to have began where he left off with YSL Rive Gauche Homme in 1999. He even cast his friend, and 90s American singer-songwriter Beck as the new face of the men’s collection. The campaign is, as black-and-white photos are, stylish and classic. The same could not be said for the Fall/Winter 2013 collection.
The look is described to be that of an indie rocker, but all the time, I can’t help but think that Zadig & Voltaire did it so much better. Instead, the line looks like the product of Hedi Slimane’s personal style, and Beck’s style…if he had one. I know that 2013’s all about the nineties’ revival, but this was hard to swallow. Created through skinny leather trousers, heavily ripped jeans and super-slim wool trousers are kept youthful with red-brown check shirts with chunky, long Fair Isle knitted jumpers. Capes, apparently a 2013 key, are worn with knitted jumpers and kept formal and styled with royal red blazers and gold-on-black embroidery, delivering a statement look whether dressed up or down. Layering allow for prints and textures to be mixed, giving the wearer lots of attitude.