Saint Laurent is having a busy week. Carey Mulligan, Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire and his wife, jewelry designer Jennifer Meyer, all sported pieces from Hedi Slimane's rebranded brand at Cannes. While over on this side of the pond, the company opened a new — albeit temporary — Rodeo Drive outpost while their original Beverly Hills shop undergoes renovations. The store officially opened on Thursday. And once we saw the shiny, gold, rebranded signage go up, we knew we had to check out what Slimane had done inside.
Here's what we found.
The Structure: Taking over the former retail home of Missoni on the corner of Rodeo Drive and South Santa Monica Boulevard in Beverly Hills, the white aluminum ribbon exterior and crisp, brightly lit 7,500 square foot black and white marble-filled interior space is the perfect temporary abode to see Saint Laurent's latest goods in all of their splendor. Handbags and shoes are displayed on the walls, while jewelry and wallets are under glass. The store's center features floating metal racks lined with wares from Slimane’s Spring/Summer 2013 men’s and women’s collections that extend to the back, where a massive photo of musician Beck Hanson from Slimane’s ad campaign earlier this year goes from floor to the ceiling. Another print of British model Edie Campbell lines the wall leading towards the changing rooms.
The Finds: Since Slimane’s spring/summer 2013 collection (and his next winter collection, for that matter) is all music, all the time. And with structured leather pieces, punky accessories and vibrant bohemian maxi dresses, we couldn't help but envision a bevy of famed crooners sporting his wares (Marilyn Manson Courtney Love and Kim Gordon are brand faces, after all). A black crepe jersey leather ruffle bib dress ($3,850) and a silk cut-out dress with transparent sleeves ($12,950) could easily be imagined on the likes of Gwen Stefani and Rihanna, while a blouson sleeve multicolor floral maxi dress with metallic thread ($7,950) just screams "Florence Welch."
TOO COOL FOR SCHOOL: Saint Laurent's Perfecto leather jacket, $4,950; medium duffel bag, $2,650; and Janice pumps, $745 available at Saint Laurent, Beverly Hills and saintlaurent.com
Of course the shop is full of gear for guys, too. If Justin Timberlake wanted to join the stylish SLP party, his feet would be perfect for the black and white derby calfskin lace up shoes ($790) while Suit & Tie commrade Jay-Z could handsomely sport the high top Clous sneaker with silver-toned studs ($670).
Saint Laurent unisex duffle bags ($2,150 and up) in varying shades are on display alongside a few classic grand cabas purses with the famed “Y” emblem ($2,850), a throwback to the days of YSL that we sentimental types hope Slimane never removes from the brand's new collection.
The Staff: Down-to-earth is not a description we would ever think to use when describing Saint Laurent. But that’s precisely what we found in the staff at the company’s latest outpost. We were greeted warmly by one of the four men (from our count while there) dressed fittingly in all black at the shop, who happily proceeded to discuss the temporary space and disclosed that the permanent locale will mimic this one. Other staffers asked for our feedback on the space and merrily talked about clothing items we, uh, might have been staring at for a little too long.
The Standout: We were beside ourselves when we spotted leather ankle boot ($950) in the most perfect shade of red imaginable. That is all.
469 N. Rodeo Dr., Beverly Hills. Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Sunday noon to 6 p.m. 310-271-4110. saintlaurent.com