Hedi Slimane for YSL

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He’s removed the Yves to form updated label Saint Laurent but following a strong reaction from the fashion media via the twittersphere and social media channels, the message seemed to be, if it aint broke don’t dare try and fix it. Appointed in March to head up the creative direction of the fashion house, Hedi Slimane debuted his Saint Laurent collection yesterday evening in usual dramatic style – all claustrophobic show space and theatrical lighting which darted about in the manner of a laser quest marathon. However, the clothes themselves were just about able to muster up some stage presence.

It wasn’t anything we haven’t seen before as Slimane took inspiration from the Seventies, putting a rock chick spin on it and dotted references to old Westerns, with varying fringing, tassels and wide leather trousers that looked as though they’d come straight from a cowboy shoot-off. The traditional shapes of the free love era, from billowy chiffon blouses, paisley prints, flowing maxi dresses and oversized hats came mostly in black with many of the styles leading on one from another as short cloaks gained length on their next spin around the catwalk and blouses took their cue from the dress version that had gone before.

Ponchos and cloaks and capes – some with a feel of The Mask of Zorro about them – were embellished with ruffles, and wide armoured belts and strong jewellery featured elsewhere. The styling was streamlined, sleek and immaculate as always with leather biker-esque jackets elegantly clinging to slender figures and black lace crafting a dress oozing with sex appeal. Kate Moss was among the stars perched on the front row, and to be honest Slimane could have raided her wardrobe for many of the ensembles he put together, that married prairie print and billowing sleeves with leather jackets and studded rocky accessories.

For Slimane, fashion is all in the ‘look’, which he has shown great talent at creating – case in point, skinny jeans – so for all those uber-harsh critics tweeting their disappointment with a collection that fell a little short off the mark, perhaps we ought to stand back and give the designer a chance because next season may see him deliver the ‘look’ of the decade? Only time will tell.

Catwalk images: copyright vogue.co.uk

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