Girls who want boys who like boys to be girls who do boys like they’re girls who do girls like they’re boys.
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She’s got a strong jawline and a cropped mop but this dude definitely looks like a lady. It might read SAINT LAURENT but new creative director Hedi Slimane has kept in line with the Le Smoking suit legend’s androgynous aesthetic as he casts Saskia de Brauw as the face of his menswear line. Shot, styled and created by Hedi (top three images), Saskia shows off the tailored jackets and super skinny slacks to black and white perfection and come January 2013 the collection will be available to both genders. Appearing on the cover of The Winter Warm Up Issue, Winter 2011 and in The Exhibitionist Issue, Spring 2011, we went i-N Conversation with the boyish beauty to chat Saint Laurent Men, haircare and her love of art.
How does it feel to be the first face of Saint Laurent Men? I love the images and this is something I do not say very easily but I am quite proud of it. I was thinking of the iconic YSL images made by Helmut Newton. It’s interesting to think of how Hedi Slimane plays with this idea.
Were you surprised to be chosen for a menswear campaign? Hedi Slimane told me I was boyish in his eyes. For him femininity and masculinity are the same thing, the difference is not so interesting, he said. To be honest, for me it wasn’t even clear we would be shooting a men’s campaign. As the day evolved it became evident that he wanted to use me for his men’s campaign.
Do you think the Saint Laurent Men collection will appeal more to men or women? The pieces are classics. I think they will appeal to both men and women in the same way. I know that my boyfriend would love to buy some pieces and so would I!
Are you a tomboy? No. On the contrary, I see myself as quite feminine. But many people seem to think differently about that; sometimes people mistake me for a man. In Paris I often hear “bonjour monsieur”.
Would you ever grow your hair long? I have had short hair for most of my life. For me cutting and changing my hair has always been connected with a longing to change something in my life. Maybe when I am old and my hair is grey, I would let it grow. My grandmother’s sister had very long white hair that she rolled up around her head attached with pins. Maybe I would like to have that one day.
You have been chosen to model menswear before in the Givenchy SS13 show, alongside Kolfinna Kristófersdóttir and Stella Tennant, what do you think of that girl-boy trend? Riccardo Tisci and Hedi Slimane are people who do not mind thinking outside of the box. For them it’s something interesting and logical to do. It fits their world of ideas and images. But don’t forget this is not the first time in history that women embody a masculine presence. The fact that women have changed their way of clothing has also been of result of the freedom and power of women. One very famous example is of course Coco Chanel. This undoubtedly is ever changing and evolving.
What was it like working with Hedi Slimane? I love working with Hedi. He is a very kind and intelligent man. He always seems very focused. He has beautiful piercing eyes that see much more than most of us. He does things his way without compromising. I love to work with him because I feel free and I can be myself.
Did you ever think you would come back to modelling after you quit to study art? No, it was not a plan – but it happened. I modelled in Holland during and after high school, but never on an international level. It was when I studied art that I stopped modelling, mostly because I wanted to focus on art school, but also because I never anticipated having a career in modelling at all. Back then I wasn’t even aware of all the things I am doing now.
Do you ever feel like you want to leave the modelling world behind and pursue your art again? My life has changed so much over the last two years. I could never go back to where I was before. I am the same person but the circumstances have changed. I never left art behind though. Art is in my heart. I am developing a few ideas that I hope will come to life one day. I hope that these two aspects can exist side by side and maybe even overlap in the future.
What’s next for you? First I will travel to Edinburgh for the Chanel Metier d’art collection. Then there are still a few jobs I will be doing before Christmas and then I will go to Nepal for the holidays!