PARIS – Rock rolls on for Saint Laurent designer Hedi Slimane, who followed up his lauded Laurel Canyon and "California grunge" collections with more of his music-inspired aesthetic, debuting his latest looks to a rapturous audience Monday night at the Grand Palais.
“It was glamorous, rock 'n' roll, sophisticated, punk, disco,” declared Lenny Kravitz, who was seated next to Oscar nominee Salma Hayek and her husband, Francois Henri-Pinault, CEO of Saint Laurent parent company Kering. “It was everything in one.”
In what is becoming a signature show opener, Slimane designed an intricate moving installation that took the room from pitch black to bright white moments before the models hit the runway. “I loved the lights,” declared Hayek. “It was like a ballet.”
The L.A.-based designer boasted what was perhaps the most eclectic front-row mix of music, movie and political might of any this week, which saw France’s first lady of sorts, Valerie Trierweiler (though she is not married to President Francois Hollande), next to Vogue editors Anna Wintour and Grace Coddington, just a couple of seats away from Daft Punk, David Byrne and rock princess Pixie Geldof.
Legendary designer and former Cannes juror Jean-Paul Gaultier, who showed his own punk-inspired collection Saturday, declared the combination “perfect, perfect, perfect” and, like Kravitz, seemed to be at no loss for adjectives. “Magnificent, fabulous, superb, modern. Very Parisian and L.A. at the same time,” he said, even lauding the lightning-fast pace of the pouty models.
Another L.A.-based designer also had a perfect front-row perch. Jennifer Meyer, who was in town to show her award-winning works with the CFDA, saw only one show this week and made sure it was the man who has given her hometown a big international boost. “I mean, listen, he’s opened a whole new world for L.A. designers,” said Meyer, who is married to Tobey Maguire. “I think because of him people are looking at L.A. completely differently when it comes to fashion.”
Still, L.A.’s main fashion attraction is Hollywood’s red carpet, and Hayek confirmed her plans to wear Saint Laurent looks. “I loved a lot of the pieces with volume and structure on one side,” she said of several asymmetrical outfits.
Slimane's androgynous designs -- Rihanna was recently spotted wearing items from his latest men's collection -- might not make the cut for the curvaceous actress.
“Some of the long skinny pants I think I wouldn’t do so well with, but I love the dresses a lot," she said. "Those are for me.”