By Elizabeth Patterson
Hedi Slimane has been at Saint Laurent for three years now. He has done almost everything while at the brand – developed a new style for their collections, shot all of their advertisements and now, he is bringing couture back. Just-released campaign images of the Saint Laurent couture collection evidence this information, as well as give us a peek at the new designs.
Hedi Slimane has never followed the crowd, instead preferring for them to follow him. His turn at Dior Homme, during which he curated Visionaire 34 PARIS, heralded a new look for men in the form of the slim-fit suit. The celebrated designer continued to let his way of thinking speak for himself at Yves Saint Laurent when he took over the brand in 2012. Slimane made a variety of smart, yet polarizing decisions that resulted in the rebranding of the iconic house. He moved the headquarters of the brand from Paris to Los Angeles, dropped the “Yves” from the name and introduced a new, minimal logo to share space with the iconic Cassandre-designed “YSL”. His collections have also veered from the classic, sexy looks Yves pioneered, focusing more on rock-star friendly, grunge inspired collections and accessories. Despite controversy and outcry from the fashion-obsessed public, Saint Laurent has experienced a spike in sales since Slimane’s takeover, with his minimal, cool accessories becoming the most sought after pieces of every street-style wannabe and hopeful rock-star girlfriend.
Saint Laurent couture by Hedi Slimane is more than just clothing. The couture creations will all be made at the maison’s newly unveiled atelier, a 17th century restored mansion in Paris. The spacious and beautiful location features a garden designed by Slimane, somewhat reminiscent of Versailles’ twisting greenery, as well as the atelier itself. The atelier is divided into three areas. The Salon Couture is where clients will try on their pieces; The Atelier Flou where the designs are brought to life; and The Atelier Tailleur, where clients will have their pieces perfectly fit to their bodies. Saint Laurent will make custom creations for both men and women at this location, servicing clientele like the rock stars Slimane so admires as well as other celebrities. But only a few select pieces will earn the ivory silk satin, numbered “Yves Saint Laurent” tag, as determined by Slimane himself. Each of these couture pieces is vigilantly noted in the house’s gold monogram book.
Shot in Slimane’s characteristic black and white style, the campaign images reveal one-shoulder dresses and slim suits that have become markers of his designs for Saint Laurent. While it is still unknown whether the couture collections will be presented at couture fashion weeks or at appointment-only showings, the return of Yves Saint Laurent couture is enough news to sustain us.