Saint Laurent will return to haute couture for the first time since the namesake couturier’s final bow in 2002. While it isn’t clear whether the maison will show on-schedule or more quietly make its couture creations available to its VIP clients, the company did reveal that the pieces would be made for both men and women — surely a first in the world of couture — through its three divisions: Salon Couture, Atelier Flou, and Atelier Tailleur.
Today’s news should be read as the logical outcome of Hedi Slimane’s three-year reinvention of the house, wherein the creative director has overseen the relocation of the label’s headquarters and ateliers to the Left Bank. “Hedi began to recompose the traditional couture ateliers of the house in 2012,” read a statement. “The ateliers are now at the centre of the Saint Laurent project by Hedi Slimane. The ateliers also produce commissioned hand-made pieces for movie stars and musicians. Hedi determines which of these pieces will carry the atelier’s hand-sewn couture label ‘Yves Saint Laurent’. These couture pieces may be women or men, a tuxedo or an evening dress, daywear or eveningwear.”
The statement goes on to say: “Unlike a couture collection, this is an even more exclusive definition. The label is used only for ‘friends of the house.'” Reinforcing this idea of young privilege, Slimane photographed the campaign, as always, showing models dancing, cavorting, and luxuriating in the tony new Left Bank salons.