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10 March 2013

Ain't Laurent without Yves

Saint Laurent AW13 via

PFW was a week of many emotions for me. I speak with a heavy heart when I say I felt a certain lack of originality, with only a few shows really standing out in terms of innovative ideas (read: hair straps at Margiela, whatever was going on with the coats at Celine). Obviously the ‘no pants’ thing at Louis Vuitton was an idea I could get down with, who likes trousers anyway? But other than that, I felt the whole thing was a tad lackluster. Particularly Valentino, the collection looked like a remix of Carven and Miu Miu circa 2011. We won’t dwell on that one too much though, as I did like the slightly more playful atmosphere of the collection, which in itself is somewhat new to the design house.

But enough with the small talk, let’s talk Laurent. An air of confusion has surrounded the collection itself, and an air of disappointment has surrounded Hedi Slimane. I say this as a generalization, of course there were people who loved the collection. However, there was also a large group of people who felt it resembled a ZARA TRF campaign. I personally thought people’s dislike of the collection stemmed from something other than the trashy, edgy aesthetic, but rather the fact that people don't like to be shocked quite so abrasively.

When Slimane dropped the Yves, change was bound to occur. If he’d intended on staying 100% true to Yves then there would have been little point in changing the name, why rebrand a company when the company isn’t going to alter its direction? Our worries were laid at ease by the last collection, which presented the Laurent heritage but added some hypothetical Slimane swag. All in all it was success. The aesthetic was classy but retained a sense of modernity and edge. We’ve spent the last 5 months in bliss, lusting over the bags, shoes and general vibe from the show without any real anticipation of what his next show would bring. We were in the clear, Slimane wasn’t turning the house on its head and we could all exhale.
Well, we thought we could.

I’ve shown you my three favorite looks from the show, and I genuinely feel that had the whole collection maintained this kind of controlled grunge, it would have been one of my favorites. For me, parts of the collection felt lazy. It seems as though Slimane spent time on the looks like the ones above, really attempting to work his vision and Yves vision into each other and produce something that emulated the two of them. And then came the rest, which to me, seemed poorly put together. Of course, that’s subjective, but it irked me that the collection began to fall apart as it progressed. However I can't seem to shift the idea that my disappointment stems from the fact it didn't look like a Yves Saint Laurent show, and this unexpected turn of events put a lot of people on the ringers.

It struck me as odd that Slimane would do something so drastic in just his second season, but he probably did that for a reason. There have been a million ‘Ain’t Laurent without Yves’ t-shirts and hats and sweaters circulating the Internet and being purchased, because who doesn’t love a designer pun? In a way I feel this collection was Slimane’s response to that, essentially he was making the point that no, this wasn’t Yves Saint Laurent anymore. This, this is Saint Laurent. Perhaps his rebuttal was so unexpected, and that is why this collection has come under scrutiny. People who entered the show expected Yves but got Slimane, and they were not anticipating that. It was argued that the clothes no longer fit in with the target audience; chic, French and classy. Perhaps Slimane is rebranding the house so he can extend to a wider audience, and perhaps that is what we have an issue with. Either way, no real judgement can be passed until his next few collections have come and gone. Maybe this show was just a tool to help us move on from Yves and embrace the new direction the brand is taking. One question though, is inevitable, is he in fact bringing luxury down a couple notches in an attempt to make it more wearable? Whilst we may be disturbed by the idea now, how long until other designers follow suit? 

p.s I'd really appreciate it if you could vote for me as 'best teen blogger' at the Company blog awards here, and also check out my RayBan giveaway here!

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  1. agree ain't no laurent at all....but collection look nice

  2. mh... i don't know. i like the collection but i prefer
    all the last ones.
    happy sunday to you.
    maren anita

    Zatchels Giveaway:
    FASHION-MEETS-ART by Maren Anita

  3. I love this combinations with leather!

    My nail polish blog

  4. Beautiful cllection, like the title!

    My Blog, Blonde but not least

  5. Your writing style and fashion knowledge is so sophisticated, do you want to be a fashion writer in the future? You'd be amazing at it!

  6. wow love love love them!

    check out my blog, i have a topshop sale at the moment.

  7. Can you have a look at my blog and give me you opinion if you like it could you share the link please ? xx :)

  8. yeah, there has to be Yves... I voted for ya!

  9. Dude, this is so awesomely well written, I actually liked what he had to offer but I can see why many head weren't impressed with what was going on. xx

  10. Your so fashion smart it makes me feel fashion smart these posts are amazing I am your no.1 fan who needs a journalism degree when there are camilla ackley's in the world

    (this isn't a weird comment at all)

    Shope xxx

  11. great post!!


  12. Omg, I'm so glad you actually write decent material on fashion week and not afraid to steer away from the "oooo this season was so chic" or the "I wanted every piece this season" sort of BS... Sain Laurent was a quite a disappointment, I tweeted "I can't believe the guy who designed Dior Homme 2007-8 was the same guy who did this collection". True, there were some pieces that I did like, and the 'controlled grunge' as you said did work well. But I think we were all expecting something ground breaking, something totally fantastic and amazing from Hedi since the Dior Homme miracles that he performed were so gorgeous that we've set the bar too high for him. In a way it's unfair but I do hope he churns out something that could WOW us in an expected unexpected manner. Also, I voted for ya, hope you win the awards!! Btw, I've just uploaded my first ever outfit post from Paris Fashion Week! I would say it's Parisian-Provoking-Chic and I credit that to the Céline foulard printed flared trousers, I guarantee you'd be mega provoked ;)

    xx The Provoker

  13. Great post!

    xo Jennifer

  14. I agree with you. Thank you for your comment. I follow you and I would be happy if you decide to follow me back:-)

    New posts
    Neon and studs!

  15. I just took a look into the full collection now and I do agree, I can't help feeling disappointed at how the collection has turned out. But perhaps that's because I have placed such high expectations on how I think YSL has been in the past and how it should be now.

    When I try to detach myself from this expectation and review the collection with no names attached I actually think some of the pieces are well designed; particularly the draped and relaxed bohemian-style gowns. Generally though there's nothing ground-breaking in there. I don't think Slimane has done the brand justice. But maybe this view is pretty unfair? After all, he is deliberately trying to adapt the brand to mold around the evolving styles of modern women and not stay confined within the rigid framework, in terms of style, YSL has established for itself over the years. So instead of refusing to change my attitude on what I expect from the brand I should just embrace it and trust this new vision?

  16. I would like this collection if it was another designer - but for YSL (sorry SL) it's all a bit too H&M-grungy-not-very-well-thought-out.

    ♥ Paula Shoe Fiend.


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