Why Hedi Slimane’s grunge princesses are a gift to the high street

Saint Laurent Spring/Summer 2016

So what to make of Saint Laurent? Hedi Slimane’s reincarnation of the label, like Prada, is one of those fashion brands you hesitate to criticise too soon for fear of changing your mind and loving it just a few weeks later.

But what Slimane sent out at Paris Fashion Week might have perplexed some if only because it didn’t ooze luxury and was a gift to the high street looking for inspiration.

Slimane himself (and the critics) summed it up as a heavy touch of grunge with inspiration from Courtney Love and Glastonbury (but not Coachella, this may have been a summer collection but those rain boots were about wading through mud, not basking in California sunshine). With Agyness Deyn making a rare runway appearance the youth-rebellious vibe was enhanced further.

More than one reviewer suggested Slimane was feeling the influence of the Vetements collective and its on-trend repurposing of everyday garments. Not that they were criticising… Most of them loved it. What’s not to love about a designer who had made a veteran label such a success?

So, to the clothes, and the accessories. Glitter or silky slip dresses, generic trench costs, oversized washed out denim and leather jackets, the boyfriend tux, baggy camo jackets, and not an expensively crafted shoe or tote in sight.

Instead it was all about that rain boot and the kind of grunge tiara that mass market accessories retailers will turn out in their thousands come next festival season.

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