Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.
Gnashing teeth and a collective incredulous head whack came out when Style.com revealed Hedi Slimane's Saint Laurent baby-doll dress costs "a cool $68,000." Despite the revelation that the broader collection is selling just fine, Hedi himself was down to explain, courtesy of a glowing Vogue interview. The article reads:
Slimane does not like many of the fabrics available to designers today—he thinks they're cheap and generic and don't sit right—so he often commissions his own, harking back to the specialty weaves of the sixties and seventies. He believes strongly in the "patina" of wear. (For this reason, he never allows a new men's shoe on the runway.) Many people were aghast, a few months ago, when it was reported that a nineties-inspired baby-doll dress from Slimane's fall women's line retailed for $68,000. Few realized that the price was a function of the hundreds of hours of tailoring involved. "What people didn't see in the grunge was that literally 40 percent of the pieces were handmade in the old atelier," Slimane says, done to the highest haute-couture standards.Vogue further explains, "Partly, the idea was to remove the sheen of preciousness. But it was also to dignify street style with the craft that old-world techniques can allow." If you're not swayed by couture logic, here's Zooey Deschanel sporting a similar style in this September's Marie Claire for the bargain price of $4,650.