Posted by nana saina Posted on 5:00 AM
ust before the Saint Laurent show, two cherubic blondes could be seen greeting one another effusively by the bar. They turned out to be Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga who, together with Matt Bellamy from Muse, Josh Homme, Miguel, Lenny Kravitz and Sylvester Stallone, had made their way to the art-deco splendour of the Hollywood Palladium to see Hedi Slimane’s 12th collection for the label, and a festival-sized array of his favourite bands performing afterwards.
Normally, Saint Laurent shows in Paris, but when its favoured venue was unavailable, Slimane, the brand’s creative director, picked the Palladium, which opened in 1940 with a show featuring Frank Sinatra and Tommy Dorsey. Slimane’s show was even more star-studded, with an aftershow of 11 bands ranging from Beck and Joan Jett to the rather less famous No Parents, along with the Sloths, who supported the Doors 50 years ago. LA has been Slimane’s home since 2008 and recent collections have been steeped in surf rock and psychedelia, inspired by bands he has seen performing in the area.
For this collection, Slimane may have been breaking out the Genesis records, because, for the first time, there were prog-rock tinges: burgundy velvet, wide-brimmed hats and even beards, a rare sight on a Saint Laurent catwalk. Then, evenly distributed among women and men, there were golden boots, pussy-bow blouses and glitter applique on jackets. Slimane himself, wearing a velvet burgundy smoking jacket that made him resemble a Romantic poet, slotted right in.
Wonderfully assured and confident, the show was given an extra charge by rumours that the designer may be leaving, although those close to the label remained tightlipped.
Moving through Los Angeles this month, it has been very hard to avoid mention of the Saint Laurent show. There are ads on bus stops all the way down Sunset Boulevard, on a giant billboard further up the road, and on bill posters all over town. It’s almost as if Slimane were art directing the city itself. His holistic approach to design means that photography, graphic design and art direction all work as one in larger projects in a manner no other designer attempts. Even more impressively, in doing this, Slimane manages to maintain the label’s impregnable cool, effortlessly drawing elements as disparate as the Sloths and Bieber into an immediately recognisable, sharply defined world of his own.