Saint Laurent Ready To Wear Fall Winter 2013 Paris
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For every man there is a woman. At least that seems to be the case at Saint Laurent. Where designer Hedi Slimane’s sophomore collection for the venerable house was all about supplying sartorial options for the women who love the same “California Grunge” look as their male counterparts who showed their preference for the style in January.

And what a fine pair they will make in their matching plaid shirts, sagging sweaters, metal accented leather pieces, and torn denim garments. The ladies, or rather the girls, get the added bonus of choosing from a myriad of short dress options that fall into three distinct categories: Biker babe, baby doll, and errant school girl. Pair these pieces with shimmering fishnet stockings, black boots, “rolled out of bed” hair and smudgy make up and voilà- your apathetic attire will be complete.

Anyone choosing to wear these designs wouldn’t look out of place at a Thee Oh Sees concert (their thumping song “Tidal Wave 13” was the theme music for the show). And therein lies the fundamental question that has been dogging this house since Slimane took over. If the goal is to skew Saint Laurent to appeal to a younger customer then why give them more of, or rather a designer version of, outfits that they can readily acquire from their local thrift store?

Slimane has such an artistic perspective that surly he can offer something new and different for a generation still looking to define itself.

The saving grace of this show, for buyers at least, was the outerwear. That was where this collection got the most traction. And it will be those cropped versions of leather biker jackets, shrunken sleeved shimmering evening jackets, modified tailcoats, duffle coats, black trench coats and frayed crystal covered boleros that will be spotted as having the longest shelf life potential.

That being said they would hardly be recognized as coming from Saint Laurent. And that is were Slimane needs to set his sights for the future. Creating a way forward for the brand that makes the icons of the house new again, not just seen through the luxury prism of a particular style of dress.

- Jessica Michault

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