In case you missed it, Hedi Slimane debuted his first couture collection for Saint Laurent at L’Hotel Senecterre in Paris on Monday evening. Whereas his ready-to-wear presentation was a nod to California’s ‘70s music scene, the Los Angeles-based designer fast-forwarded 10 years to the ‘80s for “La Collection de Paris” with flashy, one-shouldered dresses straight out of a John Hughes prom scene — but with the designer’s edgy, rock ‘n’ roll touch, of course.
In addition to the sparkle and shine, the show was sprinkled with a few more surprises. We’ve rounded up the five most important tidbits for your very own Saint Laurent cheat sheet.
WATCH YOUR STEP: Models descend the marble staircase at the Saint Laurent couture show. (Photos: Getty Images)
1. Hedi Slimane debuted his first couture collection.
The debutante-style runway, in which models descended a marble staircase while clutching the banister, was the perfect analogy for creative director Hedi Slimane’s own coming out as a couture designer for the fashion house. The collection (part 2 of the fall season) was Slimane’s first since coming on board in 2012 and the brand’s first couture show since 2002.
2. Speaking of Slimane, he did not announce a departure.
When Saint Laurent revealed that for its fall 2016 season the fashion house would be showing its collection in two parts — with one presentation in L.A. and one in Paris — many predicted the stunt’s grand finale would be in the form of a departure announcement from Slimane. Rumors went so far as to speculate about his replacement, eyeing Versus Versace’s Anthony Vaccarello for the role. But alas, Slimane has not made an announcement. (At least not yet.)
THERE WILL BE NO MUSIC FOR THIS PRESENTATION, SIMPLY THE SOUVENIR OF YVES’ TRADITION OF HAUTE COUTURE NUMBERING
— Yves Saint Laurent (@YSL) March 7, 2016
3. There was no music at the show.
If ever there was an opportunity for the designer — arguably the most notorious music aficionado in all of fashion — to create a killer throwback playlist, it was for his ‘80s-inspired couture show. However, the intimate space was silent save for the voice of Bénédicte de Ginestous, who called out the number of each look in both French and English, as he had for the original designer’s shows from 1977 to 2002. The style was an homage to the tradition of haute couture shows of the past, and also a complete 180° from the Los Angeles show, which was basically an ode to rock ‘n’ roll.
4. Guests included Azzedine Alaia, Jane Birkin and Pierre Berge — Yves Saint Laurent’s longtime lover and business partner.
Among the engraved nameplates on each chair (yes, engraved) were spaces reserved for designer Azzedine Alaia, who rarely goes out in general (let alone to another designer’s show), the iconic Jane Birkin and Yves Saint Laurent’s longtime lover and business partner, Pierre Berge. The latter’s appearance was especially notable, given that he hasn’t been on board with all of the late YSL’s successors (read: Tom Ford) and made a point not to attend his shows.
5. The show took place at L’Hotel Senecterre — a decision made in 2013.
In January 2013, Hedi Slimane chose the iconic hotel as the new home for the couture line. It took more than a year and a half to get the 17th century mansion and garden space ready for today’s show. We’d say it was worth the wait.