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Hedi Slimane showcased a surprise haute couture collection for Saint Laurent today — one that may quite possibly be his last for the storied French fashion house.The designer stole the spotlight at Paris Fashion Week with "La Collection de Paris," a 42-look follow-up to his fall 2016 presentation in Los Angeles last month.
Not only did the venue (L'hôtel Sénecterre, the house's renovated couture atelier) provide a change of scenery, the entire mood was different from what we've come to expect from a Slimane show. Invited guests were ushered into an intimate space that was elegant (personalized engraved name plates served as seating assignments), yet foreboding (a "no social media" edict was ultimately ignored). It seemed like a somber farewell, a funeral even.
Guests were further caught off guard by the news that this would be a "silent" show, one without any music. In an attempt to honor "Yves' tradition of haute couture numbering," Slimane traded in his usual punk rock soundtrack for Bénédicte de Ginestous, the go-to announcer for Yves Saint Laurent's couture shows between 1977 and 2002.
Slimane's usual cast of overwhelmingly white, ultra-thin models didn't change, though. They shakily sauntered down marble steps and through the atelier with slicked back hair and vibrant red lips. The clothes, which featured plenty of one-shouldered miniskirts and dresses with sequins and hints of leopard, stayed true to the designer's '80s aesthetic too.
Highlights included the surprising addition of a high-low gown (slide 4), a fur coat in Yves Klein blue (slide 2), and retro-looking workout gear like a pink sequined bodysuit worn with a leather track jacket (slide 6).
Get a glimpse at the presentation that managed to upstage Balenciaga as one of the most talked about shows of Paris Fashion week in the gallery above.