• Report James West
  • 19th January 2014

Context/Evolution

Short term goals lead to short term achievements, but Hedi Slimane obviously has his eye on a much longer game. Whereas some designers jolt form season to season, from one inspiration to the next, Slimane’s Saint Laurent is investing in something much deeper: building an entire universe of attitudes, references and desire.

Through the Saint Laurent Music Project, and Slimane’s own continual involvement with agenda-setting musicians and artists, the house has become a genuine part of the dialog that is defining what contemporary style actually means today. It has a context.

So it made complete sense that this collection was an evolution that built on the achievements of recent seasons, adding layer by steady layer onto the rich cultural mesh forming crystal-like and steady. The Saint Laurent collector’s wardrobe expands in a wholesome way, hand-picked pieces from each season bonding an individual relationship with a growing overall story.

Don’t mistake this for a suggestion that there was lack of standout instant classics, though – on the contrary. The red bomber with leopard-print shoulder panels, or the thigh-low green metallic jacket with geometric black lapels and cuffs will be indelibly linked with this season. A smattering of scarves and pencil thin ties, along with brief flashes of fur and the signature black and red check also made an appearance, as well as an entirely new shoe shape (v. sexy in red).

Worn by a troupe of achingly cool kids – Dr Skinnybones, Rexx and White Room included – and attended by the usual atypical mix of fashion editors, myriad future stars and contemporary legends, Saint Laurent just feels absolutely different to anything else happening in menswear now – and that can only be a good thing.