The New Couture

YSL Couture

The return of the house of Yves Saint Laurent to couture is no longer ‘hot off the press’ news, but given my current obsession with all things Saint Laurent (thank you Hedi Slimane), this blog just wouldn’t be complete without at least a passing commentary…

The famous French company closed its original couture atelier back in 2002, when Yves himself retired, and while the launch of this new line has been dubbed a ‘return’, with Hedi at the helm it is perhaps, unsurprisingly, not quite the return you would expect.

Firstly, pieces from the collection will not be appearing on the catwalk as part of the traditional couture schedule.  Instead, a series of black and white images, including those I have posted here, shot by Hedi Slimane, form part of a promotional campaign entitled ‘Rue de L’Université’, featuring models in the new couture salons.

Secondly, the decision as to which garments are to carry the atelier’s ivory, hand-sewn ‘Yves Saint Laurent’ couture label will be taken by Hedi Slimane on a ‘case by case’ basis – the new line will cater to both women and men and include day as well as evening  wear.  Private or custom made orders will not be accepted.

And finally, the label will only be available to so called ‘friends of the house’, which left me wondering, to quote The New York Times’ Vanessa Friedman, “Will positioning himself as the grand chieftain of deciding who gets to wear a YSL couture garment make Mr. Slimane, and his clothes, more attractive, or will it just make people mad?”  

Given that Hedi Slimane can currently do no wrong, in commercial quarters anyway, I’m sure that by creating a collection which has been deemed even more exclusive than couture will only benefit the Saint Laurent brand.  Time will tell…

See more images from the campaign here

Read Vanessa Friedman’s article in full here 

Image Credits: Hedi Slimane

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