Dispatches from Paris: Saint Laurent

Are you cool enough?

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By: Rebecca Lowthorpe Follow @Rebecca_ELLE

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Saint Laurent, a/w 2014

Hedi Slimane’s Saint Laurent is all about attitude. The invitation is a black book containing the inspirations of its designer; this season it contained the words of John Baldessari, the American conceptual artist who wrote about burning his own work and how he’d used the ashes to make more paintings.

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The attitude is in the arty set; golden planks designed by Slimane were raised and lowered in sequence before and after the show.

The attitude is in the venue; a change of location, from the bourgeois Grand Palais to a fashionable warehouse space, presented a new seating arrangement that made it somewhat difficult to see the clothes unless you were close to the action with Kate Moss, Alison Mosshart, Catherine Deneuve, Peter Dundas, Azzedine Alaïa, Jean Paul Gaultier and many other personalities, too many to mention. The attitude is in the music, which featured songs by Cherry Glazerr and Clementine Creevy.

The attitude is in the hair by Didier Malige (strong shapes, centre partings, blow-dried) and the make-up by Aaron de Mey (very strong black eyes and lots of chalk-white skin). The attitude is in the models, as ever, fast, serious and stomping.

Saint Laurent, a/w 2014

And finally and most importantly, the attitude is in the clothes; this season is infused with the 1960s in that the shapes were short, strict and narrow and mostly worn with black patent knee-high boots, block-heeled Mary Janes or glittery ankle boots. Looking at it now in pictures on the internet, it was London: the Harris tweed and Prince of Wales check coats, tartan kilts, shrunken Fair Isle sweaters, miniature pea coats and capes.

But London seen through the eyes of our designer, so chuck in some skinny black leather jackets that make you think of Berlin and add some Californian grunge – a leopard-print fur coat with a shiny floral-print dress that stops at the top of the legs, or a multicoloured fur cape with a micro skirt of leather ‘feathers’ and silver knee-high boots. If all this sounds too cool to be commercial, think again.

There’s a huge market out there for all things Saint Laurent. The big hits off the top of my head? The parka worn by Edie with the fur-trimmed hood, any of those narrow little coats, pretty much all the skinny tailored jackets and all the footwear.

The question is, do you have enough attitude to wear it?

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