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It was announced in March that Hedi Slimane would be the designer to take the reigns of Yves Saint Laurent’s ready-to-wear (from Stefano Pilati) — a position that carries significant national pride for the French. Slimane’s appointment and resulting shake-ups at the house resulted in the mostly highly-anticipated show of the season. Paris’ finest gathered at the Grand Palais to witness the birth of the new era, the relaunch of Slimane who has already rebranded the RTW line with a new name and logo: Saint Laurent Paris. Showing at the Grand Palais, Pierre Berge (longtime friend/business partner and founder of Yves Saint Laurent) François Hollande, Betty Catroux, Catherine Denueve, Alber Elbaz, Marc Jacobs, Azzedine Alaïa, Vivienne Westwood and Kate Moss all turned out in force to see what Slimane would do. It began in darkness with the pulsing beats of Daft Punk and blinding flashing strobe lights. The black panelled ceiling began to split and tip, opening mechanically to reveal heavy duty speakers that lowered into place. As Junior Kimbrough’s bluesy quitar riffs resonated, Slimane’s vision for Saint Laurent was revealed. His dandy girls strutting languidly in wide-brimmed hats, skinny trousers, immaculately tailored tuxedo jackets, floppy neck bows and billowy, chiffon dresses they looked like inhabitants of Slimane’s glam-rock world. He combined the rock edge aesthetic he had coined at Dior Homme with Seventies shapes – billowy chiffon, flowing maxi dresses and undulating blousons. A darker vision than Yves’ original incarnation, the palette of predominantly black, less hippy and more puritan rockstar. A respectful homage to Yves Saint Laurent and the house’s founding principles, Slimane injected it with his signature rock n roll sensibility. Equal part YSL, equal part Hedi.
See all of our front row films from the Saint Laurent SS13 show here.
Text: Caroline Newell
Photography: Mitchell Sams
See all of our SS13 womenswear coverage here.