Considering the beloved menswear collections that Hedi Slimane created as the head of Dior Homme, it’s perhaps no surprise that his men’s clothes at Saint Laurent feel like they’ve found their groove more quickly than his womenswear. That’s where his experience lies, after all, and Slimane’s rock star aesthetic lends itself well to dressing cooler-than-thou dudes with narrow hips, who make up much of the premiere designer menswear audience in the first place.
Yves Saint Laurent Handbags and Purses
As some of you noted last week, I’ve been as critical of Hedi Slimane and his short creative tenure at Saint Laurent as pretty much anybody. I don’t care for how the designer behaves himself, which is a problem before you even start talking about the efficacy of his creative vision. Slimane’s first foray into women’s bags (literally, he had never had a hand in the design of a women’s bag before starting at Saint Laurent) has been largely hit-or-miss, with the reliable, functional (if a tad bit boring) Saint Laurent Classic Duffel failing to achieve the It Bag status that some had predicted.
When I first saw the Maiyet Sophie Shoulder Bag, I spent a couple hours turning it over in the back of my mind, trying to remember what exactly it reminded me of. There was something about the hardware, but I couldn’t exactly place why it seemed familiar. Finally, it hit me – it was like a curvier, more detailed version of the clean, modern Saint Laurent Lulu Shoulder Bag.
To me, the Saint Laurent Cassandre Small Tassel Crossbody Bag felt pretty aggressive at first – considering all the branding kerfuffle that the company has gone through since the advent of Hedi Slimane, emblazoning the company’s old (but still used, sometimes, in particular instances, especially for cosmetics) logo in bright gold metal on the front of a rather small bag seems like a direct call-out to critics of the switch.
In scouring the Internet for our article on the Internet’s most expensive luxury handbags, one thing became clear: even if a brand doesn’t do much to actively promote its most expensive pieces, almost all of them have those bags waiting in the wings for the right client. Under previous creative director Stefano Pilati, Yves Saint Laurent was one of the brands that mostly dealt in regular leather, with an occasional snakeskin or ostrich bag here and there.
Fergie Ferg was recently snapped exiting a recording studio in NYC, wearing what looks to be a minidress made out of a 1980s windbreaker (though I’m sure it’s designer – anyone care to ID?) and carrying the Saint Laurent The Cabas Tote. The Cabas Tote is Saint Laurent designer Hedi Slimane’s take on the Yves Saint Laurent Cabas ChYc, a bag that rose to fashion fame and populiarty during the tenure of his predecessor.
Late last week, I received a text from a friend, asking if I had seen “the new Saint Laurent Birkin.” This friend and I share (negative) feelings about new Saint Laurent creative director Hedi Slimane (and Cathy Horyn agrees with us, so I feel pretty good about it), so I knew whatever was waiting at the end of the link he included in the text would be worth at least a smug snicker, even if it weren’t as blatant a rip-off as he’d suggested.
The closer we get to spring (actual spring, not fashion spring – fashion spring has been here since September), the more interesting the whole Saint Laurent handbag situation gets. At this point, we all know how Hedi Slimane’s presence at the brand has impacted the uber-popular Cabas ChYc Bag, and now Net-a-Porter’s New Arrivals page gives us some more insight on the other kinds of bags that Slimane has planned for the brand.
Last week, we noticed a slightly modified Yves Saint Laurent Cabas ChYc Bag had just popped up on the Nordstrom website as the Saint Laurent Paris Cabas Classique, and it seemed as though we all knew what kind of changes we could expect for the beloved Cabas ChYc, at least for the season ahead. The big wasn’t quite as tall, and as a commenter noted, the handle bales had been switched from ovals to squares.
Details on how Yves Saint Laurent would transition to become Saint Laurent Paris have only become more muddled as time has worn on. When Hedi Slimane was announced as the brand’s new creative director months ago, he announced the line’s new name. At first, it seemed as though the “Saint Laurent Paris” nomenclature would only apply to ready-to-wear and the old YSL logo would still be used.