Suzy Menkes: Saint Laurent
That could have been the motto for the Saint Laurent show that closed the Paris menswear season.
But as both men and women strode out from the hub of curving mirrors that formed the backdrop, there was something noticeably different about designer Hedi Slimane’s previous take on Californian girls and boys.
“It’s not LA at all – it’s Paris!” said Slimane backstage, with his usual supporters, including Yves Saint Laurent’s partner Pierre Bergé, and the deceased designer’s former muse, Betty Catroux.
The return mentally, if not actually, to the Paris club scene explained the French polish on what has seemed in his other shows like kids dragged up from the Los Angeles teen world.
In fact, aside from the pipe-cleaner legs, the men looked polished in their tailored jackets and coats, one even in a dashing cape.
The two biographical films on Yves Saint Laurent that have come out since Hedi took the helm in 2012 present the couturier, in his youth, looking not so unlike these young men. I could imagine Yves in his wilder days in a hot-pink fur coat – one of the, ‘Is it a boy?’ or ‘Is it a girl?’ outfits.
The overall look was 1970s redux, with square, uplifting heels – again, for both sexes. The pants are the type that used to be described by would-be British rockers as ‘drain pipe’ trousers.
The girls looked cute, bare-legged and less anorexic – and again with a bit of French polish. The ‘City of Light’ was reflected in their short, silvered skirts.
Slimane has been accused of being part of the Normcore brigade, making clothes which have zero fashion statement.
But I don’t see it like that. The new Saint Laurent has integrity and a certain offbeat glamour – all the better now that Hedi’s head has turned back to France.