SURF SOUND

Par Purple Haze & The Girl; Photographe Vogue Runway

Hedi Slimane is dynamitising neon colours and surf rock with an air of 90s Seattle grunge for the new Saint Laurent menswear collection. It is a Montage of He...di. 

 
 
 

You would almost think that Hedi Slimane's OCD approach to his sojourn at Saint Laurent is improbable. Yet the Creative Director once again manipulated every minuscule detail to perfection. The model casting? A myriad of indie almond-skinned hunks including The Garden Twins and Hollywood's up-and-comers Jack Kilmer (Val Kilmer's son) and Dylan Brosnan (Pierce Brosnan's son). The music? A surf rock tune by the Californian band Swimmers I have a feeling Slimane may have snatched from Burgerama Festival. The set? A maze of neon colours and palm trees, underground California meets Harmony Korine's Spring Breakers. But the clothes - as it should be -  added that dosage of cool-kit clout. 

 
 
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Slimane flipped our nostalgia for the louche aesthetic that characterised Seattle grunge into the perfect deshabille designs. Embroidered sloppy cardigans, Cobain's Jackie O sunglasses, washed-out flannel and technicolour prints evoked a smell of teen spirit. It was a Montage of He....di. 
The grunge aesthetic was born out of necessity; its birthplace was cold and musicians had little money. Their jeans were ripped and they wore flannel because it was available. But grunge signified an act of revolution; wear what you want, hyperbolise the colours and mix the styles. It was about creating a combination of clothes from different eras and aesthetics in an individual way. And it is this individuality and freedom that Hedi Slimane has tapped into. 

 
 

That may well remain Slimane's means of self-justification: Even though his shows cherish legends from the annals of music history, Slimane sells an entire concept. He lets his unvarnished inspiration lead the way, which may be why he has always wrestled with the challenge of explaining himself to journalists. It is through his shows that Slimane communicates and for those who get his storytelling antics, there's no doubt, that Saint Laurent is the best show of the season.