Since Hedi Slimane took over from Stefano Pilati as creative director of Yves Saint Laurent early last year, he’s made a whole heap of divisive changes – not least shortening the name of the iconic fashion house to Saint Laurent – and his debut of the Resort 2014 collection this week stands as solid proof that he doesn’t intend to slow down any time soon.
While retailers first caught a glimpse of the elegant monochromatic collection in the New York presentations, the rest of the world was allowed to see it in the form of a first look; but Hedi overturned the traditional click-through slideshow in favour of an altogether more elaborate editorial affair. Shooting the looks with his own fair hand, Hedi chose a stark, minimal carpark setting in which to abandon the deadpan glares and lifeless poses usually adopted by models. The result is a portrait of the Saint Laurent woman in all of her sheer black drapery and leather-clad limbs, and a drastic upheaval of the well-worshipped format which the fashion industry tend to tentatively follow.
Would Yves have approved? The man whose designs ignited an uproar of distaste with each nudge towards the wall of convention, whose collections were regularly labelled ‘a tour de force in bad taste’? It’s easy to forget how revolutionary Saint Laurent was in his time now that his best-revered ideas have been absorbed into the contemporary landscape but, seeing as he was the original rebel looking to democratise fashion, I think it’s safe to say that yes, he probably would.