Hedi Slimane took the idea of democratizing fashion that has been running throughout the Paris menswear shows one significant step further on Sunday night. His youthful fan base, those that were lucky enough to snag a standing ticket, was encouraged to sit on the floor in front of first row invitees. Guests that included the singer Lenny Kravitz and François-Henri Pinault, the CEO of Kering, which owns the fashion house.
Or maybe the kids didn’t actually get permission for this bold move. Perhaps they just decided, en masse, to clam their perceived rightful place in the fashion pecking order. After all every look that came down the runway was inspired by and designed with them in mind; for buyers continue to confirm that the line is selling out. Well off offspring are snagging their parents credit cards and splurging on Saint Laurent. And if not them then it’s a certain breed of adult, which continues to thrive in the rebellious rock and roll attire they have worn since they too felt the world was theirs for the taking, who are stepping up to the cash register.
So what will fans be salivating over next summer? Slimane turned his attention to California in the 1970s, at the height of the anti war movement. There the worlds of hippies, folk music, rock, surf culture, and war veterans melted together to create one of the most diverse and sartorially disruptive moments in recent history.
Slimane’s take on it was to use his signature slim silhouette and craft all of the hallmark pieces of that time in ultra luxe interpretations. There were shimmering beaded macramé blankets, velvet peasant blouses and flower dresses (yes, there was quite a lot of ladies on the catwalk). Cover ups came in a leather patchwork poncho, Baja hoodie or pony skin cape. There were perfectos, intricately embellished hippy vests and studded suede jackets too. Girls had silver and red star “these boots are made for walking” footwear, and guys got a wide selection of their own pointy toe boots to chose from (snakeskin, suede, black crocodile, leopard print). And all of it finished off with the essential accessories of the era- fluid neck scarves, stacks of silver jewelry, and a whole lot of attitude.
It would be hard to argue at this point that Slimane has gotten very good at looking in fashion’s rearview mirror to create very literal interpretations that celebrate the past. So one has to wonder what amazing things he might come up with if he ever turned his gaze towards the future.