If Hedi Slimane’s L.A. runway romp was a ‘70s rocker extravaganza, then his Paris outing was an ode to ‘80s glam. The designer held part-two of his Fall 2016 romp at the house’s newly renovated atelier on Rue de l’Université, and instead of sending models down a mammoth runway to the tunes of his favorite band du jour, Slimane pared things back with a presentation that recalled the quiet collection debuts of yore—perhaps even those of Yves Saint Laurent himself. But it wasn’t just the setup that recalled the house’s namesake designer. The clothes, from the exaggerated shoulders, to the vibrant hues, to the point d’esprit tulle, felt as if they had Yves woven into their fibers. Sure, you’d still need to be about 100 pounds soaking wet to pull them off (for the most part, at least), but these clothes were extravagant, exciting, and completely unexpected.
If Slimane is planning to exit Saint Laurent, as the rumor mill has suggested, this would be one hell of a fuck you. Think about it—he’s been criticized left, right, and center for the grit and L.A. flare he’s brought to one of the most respected houses in Paris. So if this was his swan song, one might read it as Slimane laughing at his critics, saying, “Look, I can do glamour, too.” That being said, after an outing like this, Saint Laurent’s parent company Kering would be crazy to let him walk. But either way, this was a standout collection, and Slimane’s got everybody talking, yet again.