Now known as Saint Laurent, the luxurious and classic brand went through a huge makeover in 2012 that included more than just slightly changing the name. Since Hedi Slimane took over for Stefano Pilati the label has taken a darker turn, featuring black suits and wide brim hats for Spring, which was fabulous, but the recent Fall collection gave a preview of what Slimane had up his sleeve.
For the Saint Laurent Music Project, Slimane enlisted the help of rockers Courtney Love, Marilyn Manson and Kim Gordon of Sonic Youth for the Fall 2013 ads, which premiered on Dazed Digital. Slimane has been no stranger to the rock world, but this all feels so…dated. This would have been cool back in 1997, when I last truly cared for all of these artists, or their music at least. Courtney couldn’t help but tweet after the Fall 2013 that “someone actually got the look right.” What look? The grunge look that many designers, most famously Marc Jacobs when he was with Perry Ellis, copied when Nirvana and Pearl Jam ruled MTV back in the day. Later on Facebook she added:
“No offense to [Marc Jacobs] but he never got [grunge] right. This is what it really was. Hedi knows his shit. He got it accurate and MJ and Anna [Sui] did not.”
Get it right, he did. The Fall collection featured a number of skinny, pale, and somewhat unfortunate looking models scowling down the runway. I’m all for dark and gloomy, but this has been done before and in a much better way. The collection was famously panned, some critics didn’t even bother to properly review it, and with good reason. Maybe “ruining” is too strong of a word, perhaps we should say Hedi is being too experimental? The 90s are back in a really odd way. Girls who were barely alive during the decade are wearing jelly shoes and platform sneakers like they aren’t ugly. Now this mess.
Of course Courtney Love loves it, the collection is a big tribute to her and that whole era. What happened to beautiful girls in beautiful clothes? If I wanted this, i’d go drive by that shady part of town and yell out “FREE CRACK GIVEAWAY!” and watch the druggies shuffle over to my car like zombies on ‘The Walking Dead.’