Hedi Slimane's much-anticipated debut collection for Saint Laurent was heavy on '70s rock and roll glamour, tinged with a little bit of darkness. Or, to be more accurate, a lot of darkness: most of the clothes the house's new creative director sent down the runway were black. And while the show contained veiled references to Yves Saint Laurent's work (a strong-shouldered take on Le Smoking, for example, was the first thing to come down the runway, and there were lots of tiered, sheer lace dresses, wide-brimmed hats, and even allusions to the safari-style clothing the founder called Saharienne), by and large, this collection was an exercise in Slimane doing things his way.
Take for example the slim tailored suiting and skinny trousers, hallmarks of Slimane's days designing menswear for Dior and Yves Saint Laurent. Then there were the references to his adopted home in California and its music scene. In suede fringe jackets, loopy bow ties, and generous fur coats, some of the models looked like they'd just performed at a concert and were getting back into their limos, ready to be whisked back to their hotels.
Speaking of concerts, the show was held in a darkened room and opened with the lights turning up — much the same way musicians are revealed on stage. And after a selection of the solid black looks, Slimane closed the show with sleek evening gowns in pale blue, red, teal, and a variety of other colors. It was, literally and figuratively, a bright way to end Slimane's first show for the brand.