Given his newfound, Greta Garbo-like press shyness, deciphering Hedi Slimane’s strategy at Saint Laurent has become akin to trying to solve the mystery of who made the Easter Island statues. The question at hand is: considering his career-defining success at Dior Homme, what new look is he attempting now by tweaking past rock styles?
Music-obsessed, he has shown an incredible ability to chase the freshest and most obscure rock bands — the soundtrack for this spring 2014 show, “Fire Doesn’t Burn Itself,” was by a little-known singer called Sam Flax. But so far, that level of adventurousness hasn’t really infiltrated his Saint Laurent garments. So this sophomore collection didn’t break new ground, yet it was an improvement over his debut effort six months ago in January.
Razor-sharp jackets were paired with slim or bolo ties, and were worn with high-waisted, cropped pants and pointy shoes. They drew an enticing, chic, 1980s silhouette that no one else is doing right now. His flights-of-fancy — for example, a flower-print shirt worn over a navy striped T-shirt, a leopard bolero, and luscious lips embroidered on the back of a varsity jacket, not to mention the young man parading with incandescent red lipstick and a chessboard jacket — showed a campy side that could have been further explored.
As his whippet-thin models occasionally channeled David Bowie (circa The Hunger), they confirmed a trend for gender-bending, which, along with flowers, are turning out to be two of the major themes of this lukewarm Paris season.