It's all systems go at Saint Laurent at the moment. It was only a week ago that Hedi Slimane showed his first women's wear collection at the house and already, images of Anja Rubik wearing the collection have been uploaded onto the label's recently revamped website.
The images are good and were no doubt shot by Slimane in their headquarters, leading many to believe that the images will form the brand's S/S13 campaign but I'm not convinced. On the whole, the PR team has been pretty tight lipped about the brand's plans moving forward, besides, of course, the new name change, so I can't imagine that they would release the campaigns so soon.
Model genes seem to run in certain families. Everyone sat up and took notice when Kate Moss' younger sister Lottie was unveiled in the model's wedding spread in Vogue; Cindy Crawford's 10 year-old daughter recently launched her modelling career with a Versace campaign and 90s supermodel Kristen McMenamy's daughter is doing the same.
18 year-old Lily McMenamy is already represented by Next Models but this season marks the first time that her model card has been used in the agency's Paris show package. Already, people are reporting that the model has snapped up a big exclusive for Yves Saint LaurentSaint Laurent Paris. Securing such a big show is a big deal on a normal day but since its the first women's ready to wear collection from Hedi Slimane, this upcoming collection is even more special and means that all eyes will be on the line-up.
Hedi Slimane's plans to revampYves Saint Laurent has been the source of much controversy. While Karl Lagerfeld and Arizona Muse have supported the move, the announcement has, on the whole, been met with criticism. The designer has kept quiet about the controversy but recently decided to talk about the idea behind it in this month's Vanity Fair:
It is interesting to see how much reaction this retro branding has created ... Clearly, this period of the history of the house was not well-known, which I trust was a surprise for Pierre Bergé [Saint Laurent's long-term partner]. I went back to 1966 — just before the events of 1968 [when 11 million workers revolted against the conservative politics of then-President Charles de Gaulle — the biggest general strike in history], but the awakening of youth was in the air, and Yves Saint Laurent wanted to dissociate himself from the clientele of haute couture and embrace this new generation.
That rebellious spirit seems to be in line with Slimane's style and you can't deny that the decision was well-researched but the fact that people don't seem to remember this period is perhaps a sign?
For the past few weeks I have been stalking my newsagent to see whether the autumn/winter 2012 issue of ELLE Collections had been released and now I am pleased to confirm that the issue has finally hit newsstands.
Today, just about every magazine has a runway magazine but sadly, very few offer anything that extends beyond simply providing a round-up of images from the big shows (hello, Style.com). As Joe Zee said at the IFBCon a while ago, the onslaught of the digital space has meant that editors have been forced to do just that, edit and Avril Mair, the magazine's editor, has mastered this.
While the magazine always features images of the top 10 shows, it also features street style photography from Tommy Ton, fun numbers round-ups and invite images along with a string of great stories. The main story in the latest issue centres around the appointment of Hedi Slimane at Yves Saint Laurent and Raf Simons at Christian Dior. In the piece, writer Holly Shackleton weighs in on how both appointments will impact the way we all dress in future and asked five industry heavyweights what they think we can expect from their highly anticipated shows this September.
As far as new creative directors go, all of the attention has been on Raf Simons especially after the unveiling of his first couture collection at Christian Dior was met with such critical acclaim. This week, though, it's Hedi Slimane's turn.
Today WWD wrote a piece about the designer's plans at Yves Saint Laurent after having seen a sneak preview of an interview with him in the August issue of Vogue Paris. In the piece Slimane reportedly reveals that he plans to bring couture back at some point in the future. 'Haute couture is a legitimate subject for Yves Saint Laurent and could resume one day,' but continued by saying that 'the priority today is to revamp and redeploy the luxury ready-to-wear.' In it's day YSL competed with the likes of Dior when it came to couture so the decision does make sense.
News of Hedi Slimane's plan to drop the 'Yves' from Yves Saint Laurent didn't go down particularly well but it looks like the move has one big supporter. Last week Pierre Bergé spoke out in favour of the change telling Fashionista:
I am very, very happy today to have Hedi Slimane because he is a great fashion designer and he has a great talent, a huge talent. I like him, he is a friend and he worked for Saint Laurent a long time ago and he’s a member of the family, of the YSL family.
Just in case you're unfamiliar with him, Bergé was Yves Saint Lauren't business and romantic partner. Over the years he's been publicly critical of many of the house's former creative directors and has made a point of trying to ensure that the memory of the founder is maintained so his endorsement of the move came as quite the surprise. 'I'm very happy,' he told WWD. 'Anything that makes the house more Saint Laurent is welcome.'
When Yves Saint Laurent announced that Hedi Slimane would replace Stefano Pilati as the brand's creative director, we expected there to be changes. What we didn't quite expect though is that those changes would go as far as a name change. Yesterday sources revealed that the company are current in discussions about dropping the 'Yves' from Yves Saint Laurent. The move is allegedly part of Slimane's plan to put his own stamp on the house and separate it from it's past.
So far the brand have not denied nor confirmed the rumours but considering all of the discussion about it this morning, it looks like they might be a bit of weight to this one. Am I convinced? Not really. I'm not convinced that a name change will make people think about the brand differently. In fact, it seems more of a hassle than a benefit. After all, that would mean that all of their packaging would need to change along with their classic logo.
If you are excited to see a taster of what Hedi Slimane has in store at Yves Saint Laurent with his resort and spring menswear collections, I come baring bad news. Today WWD confirmed that both collection will only be shown to buyers in an intimate presentation. The first collection that we will all see from the brand under his directorship will be the women's wear collection in October.
The news is undoubtedly disappointing but it does seem to make sense. A spokersperson from the brand explained that the decision is part of a plan to make sure that there's a real buzz around the S/S13 collection to mark his return to the label in a big way.
Do you think the collection will be worth the wait?
With the news of Raf Simons' appointment at Dior well and true out and confirmed, the question as The Cut posed is how much Simons knew over these past few months.
It was only in March when the news of his departure (or being forced out as Cathy Horyn put it) from Jil Sander was confirmed that Simons' name was really thrown into the hat of potential candidates to take the reigns at the house so it begs the question; was it only at this stage that the negotiations with Dior began? That conclusion would seem to make sense when you look back at the sequence of events last month. Back in March reports claimed that Simons' had a clash with Dior CEO Sidney Toledano over money yet only a few weeks after the negotiations began the brand announced that the creative director had been secured with an announcement said to come soon. Clearly the negotiations were not as frosty then as the reports had us believe.
According to The Cut, LVMH bosses were concerned about having to compete against Yves Saint Laurent after it was confirmed that Hedi Slimane would replace Stefano Pilati so brought Simons on board to make sure they had a well-celebrated and modern designer on board too. The decision definitely makes sense. Along with Phoebe Philo's work at Celine, Simons is amongst the designers pushing the modern minimalist aesthetic forward, which is something that Slimane has always championed so with all three designers at the helm of such big brands, the competition truly begins.
As soon as Yves Saint Laurent confirmed that they would not renew Stefano Pilati's contract at the house, Hedi Slimane's name was instantly thrown into the hat of designers who could replace him. Last night, the speculation came to an end as YSL's parent company PPR confirmed the reports saying that an announement would be made today. The move marks Slimane's return to the brand after serving as the head of menswear from 1996 to 2000 before taking the helm at Dior Homme until 2007.