The venue and inspiration: Instead of hosting the Saint Laurent fall/winter men's show in it's usual locale — that is, Paris, during men's fashion week in January — creative director Hedi Slimane decided to shake things up and show his latest FW16 collection at The Palladium theater in Los Angeles. A fitting, albeit strategic choice, given that the collection was; first, a tribute to the local L.A. music scene and; second, preceded The Grammys scheduled for Monday 15 February.
The collection: An androgynous offering that had Slimane presenting his familiar rocker aesthetic, but this time, dressed up to the nines. Gone were last season's prevalent SoCal surfing influences (though long bleached hair still made an appearance), and in its place, razor sharp three-piece suits and tuxedos (looks 1, 6, 66, 86 and 90), military officer jackets (looks 8 and 14), and a badass double-breasted leather trenchcoat (look 52). And with all those fedoras and dark shades, a nod to notorious L.A. gangster Mickey Cohen perhaps? There were, of course, plenty of moto jackets and leather bombers (this is the new louche Saint Laurent as told through the eyes of Hedi Slimane, after all) but what really stopped tracks were the statement pieces: An ostentatious astrakhan coat with contrast black lapels (look 43), the flash of that opulent gold mink coat (look 55), and that black topcoat intricately embellished with metallic embroidery (look 81). Given that the show marked the 50th anniversary of the Saint Laurent Rive Gauche collection — the first ready-to-wear line offered by the couture house in 1966 — it was a playful irony that all embroideries were, you guessed it, couture and made entirely by hand. Fashion, indeed, does go around in circles.
Favourite look: The debonair elegance of that red velvet jacket (with satin peak lapels), worn so confidently over a black waistcoat and silver silk shirt (fastened with a pussy bow), anchored with brown snakeskin boots and, critically, topped off with a flat-brimmed wool felt fedora (look 45). So cool, so handsome.
Something you might have missed: Hedi Slimane reused historic Rive Gauche prints to mark the 50th anniversary collection, such as the 82 musical note print found on the red buttoned-up blouson in look 18.
Dynamite FROW: The black carpet was lit with stars the likes of Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, Ellen DeGeneres, Sam Smith, Jessica Alba, Kate Hudson, Courtney Love and Lenny Kravitz. Talk about the City of Angels.
Click below to see the full collection.
Watch the full runway show here.