• Text Tempe Nakiska
  • 30th June 2014

Psyched

Hedi Slimane’s Saint Laurent oeuvre is totally, infinitely his own. No shortcuts here. And though the temptation may be to label his collections ‘entertaining’ or an exercise in ‘theatrics’ it’s simpler than that. It’s pure sex, rock ‘n’ roll and there’s nothing else like it out there.

Last night’s show at Le Carreau du Temple gloriously celebrated the new rising of psych rock, a movement set to be explored photographically at the Fondation Pierre Bergé–Yves Saint Laurent come September. That exhibition is titled ‘Sonic’ and yesterday was this from the outset: the invite was a journey through the work of Californian artist Bruce Conner, whose mixed media artistry acted as conduit for the vivacity of Beat, Psychedelic and Punk, his experimental films touted as largely responsible for the existence of the contemporary music video today.

Slimane champions such creative intelligence – that’s what a Saint Laurent show is all about. The electric set flashed and pulsed to the beat of LA five-piece Mystic Braves and from behind the hot lights emerged this season’s gang, a vibrant, motley crew of wily cool kids the likes of Sam France (Foxygen), Cavan McCarthy (Swim Deep), Jake Williams (Skinnybones) and James Morley (Psychic Warden) included. 

Each look packed a kick drum punch, pulled together with the backstage fervor of a gig on which it all depends. Ponchos trailed, fringing danced and there was leather, leopard print, sheepskin and those pointed snakeskin boots. A striped lame jacket hinted at glam, while girls draped in tunics and topped with wide brim hats announced a “unisex” collection. Everything was finished with glinting piles of jewellery.

If there’s one thing anyone who has witnessed a Saint Laurent show will say on the subject it’s that the closest equivalent is a rock concert. Lights and music aside, it’s the sensual tension that resides between music and fashion that generates this energy. Praise to the designer passionate – and ballsy – enough to run with this dynamism.