Saint Laurent goes grunge for winter, Stella sees volume

Mon Mar 4, 2013 5:13pm EST
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By Alexandria Sage

PARIS (Reuters) - With the spirit of 1990s grunge pervading the runway, it wasn't your mother's YSL at the Saint Laurent fashion show in Paris on Monday night.

New designer Hedi Slimane channeled the Seattle scene in the era of grunge-rock band Nirvana. Models in ratty Courtney Love hairdos moved sullenly down the catwalk, with shapeless plaid lumberjack shirts covering babydoll dresses cut up to there.

Certainly, Slimane played with many of the famous label's elegant design motifs that recurred throughout the decades - sharp tailoring on jackets, halter tops with exposed backs and demure white Peter Pan collars with black bows.

But it was perfectly apparent from the Fall/Winter 2013/2014 collection that Slimane and Saint Laurent's owner, luxury group PPR, are searching out younger clients, born too late to remember the many innovations of founder Yves Saint Laurent.

The ready-to-wear shows in Paris - part of an 11 billion euro ($14.3 billion) French industry - largely influence what will be seen on fashionable backs around the world the coming season.

Slimane quickly put his mark on the label after being appointed to head it last March, truncating the ready-to-wear brand's name to howls of protest from loyal fans.

But on Monday, the brand boasted its new Hollywood creed with Kirsten Dunst of "Spider-Man," in the front row, as well as French actress Catherine Deneuve, former muse to Saint Laurent.

Rocker leather jackets appeared over and over, as did leather ankle boots. Slimane even sent out Paddington coats and suede and fleece coats that looked like they could have been found on a thrift store rack.   Continued...

A model presents a creation by British designer Stella McCartney as part of her Fall-Winter 2013/2014 women's ready-to-wear fashion show during Paris fashion week March 4, 2013. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier