PARIS -- It was a 1970s, rich-hippie, ladies-of-the-canyon moment on the runway at Paris Fashion Week Monday night, when designer Hedi Slimane -- who has been working primarily as a photographer in Los Angeles since leaving his post at Dior Homme in 2007 -- staged his debut runway show for Saint Laurent Paris. (Slimane renamed the brand and redesigned the logo shortly after being hired earlier this year, and has said he will be designing the collection from L.A.)
But the spirit of its founder, who died in 2008, was still very much alive in this collection, which with Raf Simons' debut at Dior on Friday, was a defining moment of the Paris season, as these two designers attempt to forge a new future for French fashion.
The scene: It was a small show for such a big brand, which is owned by Gucci Group, probably only 500 people. Yves Saint Laurent's partner Pierre Berge was there lending his support, as was YSL muse Betty Catroux. Several designers were in the house as well, including Marc Jacobs, Diane Von Furstenberg, Alexander Wang and Alber Elbaz, who took a turn designing for YSL before landing at Lanvin. (Needless to say, Tom Ford and Stefano Pilati, who also tried their hands at YSL but did not find favor with Berge, were not present.)