Whether or not Hedi Slimane’s latest Saint Laurent show, which he debuted in L.A. last night, will be his last, it’s safe to say it was his most Yves. One could certainly imagine Betty Catroux parading around in Slimane’s '70s bohemian-meets-‘80s glam rocker wares. The clothes felt more substantial than they have in past seasons (even if many of the models, particularly the boys, were Slimane’s most emaciated to date), and the front row, which boasted everyone from Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber to Courtney Love and Sylvester Stallone, was as star-studded as ever. Speaking of, there’s no doubt the musicians in attendance will want to get their hands on the sequined, feathered, and leathered Part 1, as it’s being called, of Saint Laurent’s Fall 2016 offering.
However, the most memorable part of Slimane’s show, as it so often is, was the music. PYPY screamed “Everything is turning obsolete,” over the speakers while moody, hunched models, paraded 93 (93!) dapper grunge looks around a square runway (which, for the record, this journalist watched via livestream). Recorded specifically for the show, the tune (called "She's Gone," for those wondering) perhaps speaks to how many feel about today's fashion climate. What matters now? Celebrity? Probably. Heritage? Given the rate at which designers switch gigs, that’s unlikely. Craft? That’s sadly becoming harder and harder to find due to the furious production and media cycle. Talent? Are the designers of yore obsolete? Must everyone be turned on, plugged in, and promotion-ready all the time? And while the rumors surrounding Slimane’s potential Saint Laurent departure focus on alleged contract disagreements, one couldn't blame the notoriously reclusive and private designer if he bowed out à la Raf Simons. If this was Slimane's last show for Saint Laurent, he can rest assured that he's created a legacy--albeit a controversial one. This event would be a poetic swan song, considering Slimane's polarizing choice to move the brand to L.A. following his 2012 appointment. A full circle moment. And if it's not, well, Slimane's cult of dedicated luxury fans will have a lot to look forward to.