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Suzy Menkes

Vogue International Editor Suzy Menkes is the best-known fashion journalist in the world. After 25 years commenting on fashion for the International Herald Tribune (rebranded recently as The International New York Times), Suzy Menkes now writes exclusively for Vogue online, covering fashion worldwide.

#SuzyPFW — Saint Laurent: Glitter Grunge

Hedi Slimane’s mastery of bad girl gone good

6 Октября 2015

With the models wearing satin-slip dresses and sparkling tiaras — even if the headgear might have come from a party shop — was the Saint Laurent message now about a good-ish girl?

“You know, I have always preferred bad girls,” said a laughing Hedi Slimane, who was preparing to fly back to his atelier in Los Angeles the next morning.

Oh foolish me to have asked that question, when lookalikes of Courtney Love, at the heart of Nineties grunge glamour, were in the audience and a typical outfit was a jacket (beautifully tailored) with shorts and rubber boots à la Kate Moss at the Glastonbury Festival.

Other rock’n’roll elements were denim, leopard and tiger prints and the sexual allure of transparent lace with visible panties.

I am aware that Hedi, established in menswear as a great tailor of 21st-century style, had no women’s design background when he joined YSL three years ago. This show seemed to follow a learning curve that was about bias-cut dresses, something at which Yves himself was a master.

Perhaps inspired by his new YSL venture into semi-couture in Paris, Hedi had swapped Californian waifs in floral dresses and cardigans for the life more sophisticated: furry, feather jackets shrugged over the many slithering, sensual rivulets of dresses.

But is difficult to think of these waterfalls of fine fabric over the body without referring to John Galliano in the early Nineties. Before he worked at Dior, the British designer was a practitioner of transparency, although the shock of visible bosoms veiled in chiffon goes back to Saint Laurent himself in the Sixties and Seventies.

The echo chamber of fashion is part of modern history, and the revival of grunge with a brand such as Vetements is putting the Eighties and Nineties in perspective.

But the Hedi fashion magic is to revive elements of the past to create the future. “Glitter Grunge?” It has a nice ring to it.

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