Bad girls club

Francine Gacrama - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines – Seasons may come and go, but the continued success of Saint Laurent Paris falls solely on the strength of their ready-to-wear line. The youth-culture driven brand is a constant source of insouciant cool, fashion that proves to be an extreme commercial success despite Hedi Slimane’s constant detractors. Since dropping “Yves” from the ready-to-wear line, the creative director understands his market to a T as his collections dominate the attention of the global fashion industry without questions asked — after all, it’s either Hedi’s way or the highway.

The 2016 spring/summer collection of the French fashion house was located 23-stories up along one of the busiest streets in Hong Kong on Queen’s Road. The showroom displayed pieces from their resort 2016 collection but it was their spring pieces that I found myself zeroing in on. Imagine a room filled with racks and racks of glimmering gold and silver dresses with endless slits as well as highly coveted accessories like the noteworthy lowbrow tiara and small bijoux purses. Who wouldn’t go mad at the sight of this collection that’s very reminiscent of Courtney Love in all her ‘90s glory?

The collection, entitled Skin, evokes a charm that radiates a cool mystique and almost couture-like craftsmanship. Basic silhouettes made up for a more everyday look and that’s what makes it so appealing to Saint Laurent’s most loyal fan base. Layered slouchy outerwear compensated for the revealing dresses, however it was the leather undies that added subtle coverage to the already barely-there looks. Slimane’s fuss-free tailoring of bias-cut slip dresses (which made its first appearance in his 2013 collection) dripping in metal sequins is one that you would consider a standout piece despite its simplistic yet highly fluid structure.  

Slinky slip dresses came in different variations and the French designer didn’t restrict the looks to silk but also explored lace, sequins, leather and even velvet patchwork. Heavily present in the collection were a series of outerwear pieces to complement the daytime staple mini slip dresses — a trend that Saint Laurent’s public relations executive in Hong Kong, Winki Au Yeung, informed us about.





The beloved biker jackets in leather were cropped, enlarged, scuffed up or studded in Slimane’s most favored black, but conceivably the piece that deserved the most recognition would have to be the white leather jacket which was buttery soft and lightweight; oversized jackets were in patches of denim, black and gold sequins, leopard, camouflage prints and chubby mink furs — an ode to the recurring ‘90s California vibe. Each look stomped along in a pair of Wellington boots that had accents of sequins and embroidery. In juxtaposition with the more conservative side, a range of strappy sandals in a forgiving three-inch slim Paris heel.

Looking to update your hat collection? Palladium-toned brass and crystal rhinestone tiaras topped each look and, to be honest, they fit Slimane’s modern vision of an insouciant cool gal, worn along with the micro mini Bijoux bag or with the much bigger Jen bucket bag. The easy mix of these masculine and feminine pieces were pulled off seamlessly — perhaps an effortless fit for the woman inclined to get any job done whilst still looking exceptionally glam.

What separates Hedi Slimane from the rest is his constant desire to send down luxury pieces that function better off the runway — don’t get us wrong, they look just as desirable on the catwalk but these are the kinds of pieces that you’d rather see on yourself.

A needle in a haystack, Saint Laurent channels a sense of nowness and newness that is saleable, wearable and unfailing. The brand’s phenomenon rests on the idea of designing essential pieces that have unparalleled quality and style.

The designer-turned-photographer’s nonchalant demeanor is contagious and is a reflection of his time spent in California since moving his creative studio to LA from his former home base of the Parisian headquarters. We trust that the former creative director can do no wrong and although his consistency may seem like the same old look to some, to the Saint Laurent girl and to his legion of international fans, the numbers don’t lie. Saint Laurent Paris is here to stay.

Stick with Saint Laurent if you want to be a part of a movement rather than a trend. Slimane’s got it figured out by a mile.

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Saint Laurent Paris is located at the East Wing of Shangri-La Plaza. In the Philippines, Saint Laurent Paris is exclusively distributed by Stores Specialists, Inc.












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