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Elegantly Wasted: A Trip to the 90s with Hedi Slimane for Saint-Laurent

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When it was announced that Hedi Slimane was to take the place of Stefano Pilati as creative director of the iconic label Yves Saint-Laurent, the fashion world was left wondering what new innovations the Swiss designer could bring to the brand. Then he dropped the Yves.

That’s right. For over fifty years the brand has existed as YSL,a brand coveted for its luxury, craft, and intuition; and yet within a few moments under Slimane’s guiding eye, the brand switched from Yves Saint-Laurent, to Saint-Laurent Paris. A seemingly small change, but for fashion insiders, it seemed to represent a much grander prophecy.

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It should come as no surprise, however, considering Hedi Slimane is a designer who is known for being a somewhat of a revolutionary when it comes to fashion. He is the man that ushered a tidal wave of change nearly a decade ago when he was appointment menswear designer for Dior; making Dior Homme not only a coveted brand worn by celebrities from Brandon Flowers and Pete Doherty to Cate Blanchett, but seriously revolutionized mens fashion altogether. While most collections stuck to a very standard approach to mens styles, Slimane flipped it on its head exchanging boot cuts for skinny jeans, made suspenders cool, had young guys think hats are cool, wearing skinny ties, and switching their blazer for cropped motorcycle jackets.

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On top of that, he single handedly changed the standard of beauty for male models, exchanging the buff All-American dreamboat for the skinny skater kid you see hanging out in the alleyway with his friends sneaking a joint and giving each other tattoos. What would have been referred to as the ‘Teenage Wasteland’ by our grandparents, has now turned into the standard ideal of luxury by fashion insiders, which you have to admit is pretty damn cool.

And if there’s anyone who knows cool its Hedi Slimane, who took a break from designing and took a dip into the realms of industrial design, exhibition design, curating, and of course his photography which he showcased on his site, the Hedi Slimane Diary.

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Now, Slimane has kicked it off with his debut menswear collection for Saint-Laurent in this latest F/W 2013 runway show, proving that he’s still got it in the bag when it comes to making mens fashion that feels fresh, cool, casual, with all the bad ass luxury of a world class rock star.

There’s plenty of vintage inspiration thrown in there too, with a definite ode to the 90s.

 

It’s a decadent rock n roll roller coaster of goth and grunge (very of the moment) that elevates the styles to a whole new level (being Saint-Laurent, after all). Plaid shirts, cardigans, ripped jeans, leopard print, fur coats, and oversized jackets – these are the new standards. Vive Revolution.

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There’s definitely nods to the great, late, one-of-a-kind, king of sadness, rebel bad boy, Kurt Cobain in the mix. And while, we’ve seen this vintage inspiration dozens of times in the past, somehow Slimane is able to rejuvenate the look with unexpected combinations of texture, colour, pattern, and shape. And what might seem like odd styling choices, at times, only adds to the eclectic decadence.

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You could even say it ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’, as the anthem goes, but its more likely an invitation to  ‘Come as You Are’, when you think about it. No need to fuss or muss. Just throw it on, and march. That’s the best part for us, and the most alluring and beautiful representation of Cobain’s unique style we’ve yet to see.

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I see a little bit of River Phoenix in there, too . . . he was, of course, a forefather to that grunge look, and probably would have come to represent it even more if it weren’t for his untimely death. There’s also a little Jordan Catalano thrown into the mix . . .

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His F/W Women’s Collection is equally full of these rebel notions, and 90’s attitudes. You can spot inspiration everything from Courtney Love, ‘The Craft’, ‘Daria’, ‘My So-Called Life’, ‘Reality Bites’, ‘Poison Ivy’, Gwen Stefani, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Bridget Fonda in ‘Singles’! It’s every fashionista’s dream collection, pretty much. Expect to see even more of this on the streets, and anyone who was doubting this particular breed of style, can suck it because this is Yves Saint-Laurent, baby – sorry, SAINT-LAURENT, baby!

Hats off to you, Slimane. You bring the past to life in a whole new way, and that’s what makes us love you most. You show that fashion is about reinvention as much as invention, and to look to the past and give it a new spin is about as innovative as you can get. You remind everybody that everything old is easily new again with a little bit of imagination.

Your vintage inspiration is out of this world, and you keep reinventing, not just how we dress, but yourself, in many ways, which is both aspirational and incorrigible to all those of us who call ourselves dedicated followers of fashion….

So, Merci Beaucoup. Somehow, you’ve made me feel like we’re definitely doing something right. And remember, it’s not about being perfect; it’s what makes you imperfect that really counts.

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{STYLE WISE} CARRIE (1976) VS. CARRIE (2013)

 Graduations have commenced, the lockers are empty, and uniforms have been put on the top shelf, but this doesn’t stop us from being pumped for this year’s style conscious remake of “Carrie” starring stylish ingenue Chloe Grace Moretz, and mystic maven Julianne Moore, as Carrie’s fanatical mother. 

“These Are Godless Times, Mrs. Snell”

-Margaret White, “Carrie” by Stephen King.

The film is set to release in October, but until now we can just quench on the latest trailer, and take a look back at what made “Carrie” great so many years back (almost 30!).

Surely no one can outdo Sissy Spacek’s alien beauty and frail feminine qualities, but undeniably Ms. Grace Moretz will bring a freshness to the part that she’s consistently showcased in her last several films. This is her big BIG break. Much as it was Spacek’s those many years ago. . .

{ “CARRIE” (1976) VS. “CARRIE” (2013) }

High school seems like a world away now, but we can’t help but feel a certain sense of nostalgia for those long lost days roaming the hallways, hanging out in the labyrinths of the school auditorium, or ditching gym. “Carrie” does right to set its horrors amongst the most sacred rite of teenage life, {Prom Night}.

I remember my own, decked out in vintage duds; a little gang of mischief-makers danced the night away in the cavern of some out-of-the-way banquet hall in middle-of-nowhere southern Ontario. Waiting for the bus at midnight across from an empty field was but one of the many highlights that mark {Prom Night} as truly a night to remember. Not unlike the kids in “Carrie” . . .

And no better way to get yourself prepped for the film directed by Kimberly Peirce, whose 1999 film “Boys Don’t Cry” had Hilary Swank walking away with an Academy Award for Best Actress (as well as a Best Supporting Actress nod to fashion darling, Chloe Sevigny).

Sounds like a sure-bet to me!

Don’t get this secret diva mad, because once you do,

there’s no holding back those flood gates.

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Vanity Fair Names Their Icons of Style

Vanity Fair does as they do with their latest list of Style’s Greatest Icons. Picking from all of Hollywood history, writer Amy Fine Collins makes a jab at finding those identities who fascinate, inspire, and continually resonate with lovers of style and fashion.


For a list of 21 of the ultimate icons of style, we’re a little let down. The list is GOOD – pretty much your usual list including Marilyn, Audrey, Lauren, and Bette, and more current stars like George Clooney and Penelope Cruz making the cut. While Marlon Brando and Jean-Paul Belmundo made the cut, I was shocked not to find James Dean pop up on the list! I mean, George Clooney and NOT James Dean??! WTF?

I could go into more wishes and wants, but I won’t. Instead, take a look for yourself at the list, and let us know what YOU think! Who would you add to the list?

Here’s the list:

Fred Astaire
Grace Kelly
Marlon Brando
Lauren Bacall
Audrey Hepburn
Marlene Dietrich
Bette Davis
Marilyn Monroe
Leonardo Dicaprio
Joan Crawford
Penelope Cruz
Carole Lombard
Charlotte Rampling
Nicole Kidman
Jean Harlow
Clark Gable
Harry Belafonte
Johnny Depp
Cate Blanchett

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I do sincerely appreciate having Carole Lombard and Charlotte Rampling make the cut, but or me the biggest surprise was Leonardo Dicaprio. He’s the youngest name on the list, and although I’ve been musing over pictures of him in the 90s, I very often forget to credit the man for his continually classic and easy way about him. While the clothes are great, it’s the devil may care approach he takes to wearing them that really make his looks sing.

That for me is the biggest sign of true deep down in the heart style. For it’s not about what you wear, it’s who’s wearing it, and more often than not, that person is you!

The thing that makes each of these people a star is their ability to project a sense of self, and be fully committed to it. In the same respect, it is their ability to lose this self at the snap of a finger that makes being a star a true craft.

The films they are in are just the backdrop. The clothes a part of the scenery. It is all inspiration, and as Amy Fine Collins notes, designers today are continuously reinventing and re imagining films of the past to realize their vision for today.

That’s why we are continually looking to the past to inspire and tell us stories. Moments of magic to reinvent. For there is a beautiful mystery to the idea of being a star, especially the leading men and starlets of Hollywood Golden Years. A certain spirit seems to take over these mere mortals the second the lights are on and the camera is rolling. In the blink of an eye, that person is made immortal through the magical alchemy of light and silver.

“Everything…was an exaggeration of history, fiction and the whole wide extraordinary world.” states legendary Vogue editor Diana Vreeland. Sometimes there’s nothing better than a little exaggeration to get us through the day…

So as I was saying, the list is good, but our own E.O.F. Style Idols and Divinities are pretty damn special in their own right.

What’s the use of having a million lists online that tell me Audrey Hepburn is the best dressed woman there ever lived. Same goes with Grace Kelly, and Nicole Kidman (?? I mean, really??)…its 2012, after all, can’t things start to get a bit more interesting especially when it comes to our style icons…

The fashion world right now is ever changing, and in our post modern bubble, there is infinite possibility out there. There are also literally hundreds of styles being represented out there, so to always have lists of Style Icons that are the same really makes for not very much progress…

Seeing as it is 2012, I foresee great changes in the midst, especially in accord to perceptions of style. There is a younger generation of style aficionados out there, more equipped than we were ever to analyze and take on new ideas in dressing.

While the classics will also stay as such, style enthusiasts should definitely make room for finding new influences our predecessors, blinded by the flickering of celluloid, were not able to pick up on and bring these lost ideals to the forefront…

This goes for all areas of life. Don’t just blindly live your life being told what is what. Make it so by your own actions and doing.  Dress the part! Be the star! Change the world! That’s the message…and for that, Vanity Fair, we must thank!

So remember, stay wise, and don’t get caught floating in the status quo.

Yours truly,

{theEye}

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