Marc Jacobs may have been fired from Perry Ellis for his now-infamous Grunge collection, but who knew that it would be so influential over two decades later? Not those Generation X slackers, the progenitors of the hipster pandemic, and who still refuse to GrowTFU and wear a suit.
There are many things you can accuse Hedi Slimane of Saint Laurent of, none of them being originality. Well-known for “curating”, rather than designing collections, his menswear proposal for Spring/Summer 2016 reeks so hard of the early-Nineties alternative rock scene that it might as well come with an STI from Courtney Love. Distressed denim, mohair knits and patchworked jackets, there is no cliché left untouched. Flannel shirts are another nod to the crispy Seattle weather, transported to Slimane’s adopted home of Los Angeles.
This join-the-dots, romanticised revision of Kurt Cobain and Thurston Moore’s thrift store-stylings is already available from Urban Outfitters, and Topman’s version will no doubt be in stores within weeks, but anyone who fancies paying £££££’s for the Saint Laurent rendition must be blindsided by the label.
Another criticism of this collection is that it’s dull, right down to its carefully-scuffed sneakers, and if there’s nothing we hate more at Chutzpah mansions it’s boring, badly-made clothes mislabelled as “luxury”. Edgy twenty-five years ago, these faux-charity shop duds have been adopted as a uniform by every “misunderstood” stroppy child since. The anti-establishment has become established, and its target market won’t be the (homogenously Caucasian) teenagers from the Saint Laurent catwalk, but management accountants who were too safe and too straight to wear it the first time around.
Slimane’s supporters will probably point out that this will sell by truckload. Well, so does Primark – a company that’s probably more honest about its intentions and product. The fall of the house of Saint Laurent’s integrity, formerly a byword for louche Parisian chic, has been a harrowing journey, with fashion as its most tragic victim.
Review written by Lee Clatworthy (@bombfashion) for www.katiechutzpah.com