The only brand I love to hate and hate to love.
It's one of these relationships you cannot really define.. and it's not like my opinion is that important for Hedi Slimane or whoever outside the circle of my readers but I honestly feel an inner need to finally make up my mind on whether I love or hate this new with a history reshaped label.
|Even the packaging is cool but how much will you spend for a black box?|
Confusing as it might be, I used to hate it to death. But even so it is the single most referenced at brand on the blog which is why I started questioning whether I truly hate it or if it is just a reaction, just like the denial face of a gay teenager. I spoke about design and over evaluation of products, and about decline of the maison's identity and so on. At the same time I have been asking everyone's opinion on the subject and the feedback was as mixed as my very thoughts. And I guess that being 18 means that taste and perception changes rapidly day by day and sometimes I find myself loving things I loathed in the past and vise versa.
Trying to be mature here I will in fact admit that Saint Laurent Paris is a cool brand. Maybe the coolest there is. Does this have to do with branding and marketing? Design or advertising? I don't know. All I know is that I overall find the collections smart and cool. They lack design but they are cool. This past week I had an epiphany. I thought about Yves Saint Laurent, the legend not the label, and I remembered what he did for his last collection over at Dior. To cut the long story short, Yves named the collection "Beat" and it was inspired by subcultures, from Ton-up boys (Marlon Brando driven biker clubbers) to beatniks, the sophisticated youth of the 50s and so on. Now for a house that made corolle line (the new-look) an absolute fever, having models walk in leather jackets down the runway in 1960 was in fact a strong motive to get sucked or as it turned out be sent to war and be fired afterwards. Yves Saint Laurent was a visionary. But what he did, what he created was so new and so contrasting to the Dior customer that no matter his previous triumphs he was savaged by both press and fashion lovers. This is a light-hearted comparison between what Yves did for Dior and what Slimane does for YSL. And of course Slimane's work is by far less genius that Laurent's taking under consideration that back in the days a leather jacket was as shocking as drugs but then again I still see a pattern here. Hedi was not sucked though. Hedi was celebrated, and the waiting lists for his luxury goods emerged. Cool sweaters, killer jackets, great ill-fitted pants. Things I hated for being overtly Zara oriented but loved because I wanted them. That's what you wear you see. At the end of the day it's not a Gareth Pugh feathered dress whatever that you wanna crawl in, but a mohair-blend jumper with stripes that costs somewhat $590.
Speaking of design and prices. Is it Slimane's fault his work looks so much like Zara's or is it Zara's fault who grew to be so close to brands like Saint Laurent Paris? Who is there to blame? Is Saint Laurent the Laduree of the rich, in a Starbucks macaron consuming world?
One thing I'll never agree with, I guess and hope, is the manorexia effect. I get that having skinny legs is nice in a way, but from skinny to bone that's another story. So that's a minus. And then you have Slimane who replied to Cathy Horyn's review (I never thought one could do that by the way) making things a lot worse for both me and I assume a lot of confused people out there on whether we like him or not.
It seems I can keep on talking forever and ever here so I'm gonna conclude saying that yes I want to get my hands on a few Saint Laurent goodies, but maybe I'd love him more if he just did that for a label of his own, from scratch, without the glare of a strong maison backing him.
That's it. I hate to admit that I love it. But j'adore to hate it as well. (and now I rememberd two more reasons why I hate it. Gosh..)