Saint Laurent AW14

John Baldessari's appropriated images inspire a collage of abstract glitter and sixties youth

Fashion Show
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Edie Campbell (Viva) and Grace Hartzel (Next) for Saint Laurent AW14 Shot by Lea Colombo

Initial reaction:

With a show preceded by an invitation of artwork by John Baldessari – the grand master of the appropriated image – was Hedi Slimane intending to provoke conversations on artistic appropriation? This season he turned his deep appreciation of youth culture to the sixties, and appropriated its codes through a distinct Saint Laurent filter. Hems were short, boots were flat, long and glittered, and opaque tights were worn with everything.

Atmosphere:

Slimane returned to the 19th century Carreau du Temple, a cast iron covered market he used to show in with Dior Homme – and where Helmut Lang and Ann Demeulemeester held their shows. The vast space was lit up by a hypnotic LED screen, and massive speakers topped with spotlights loomed over us on scaffolding. This felt more like a concert than a show. On the runway, huge gold beans rotated out into a fan, opening up a pathway before closing again as the last model walked away.

Sound of Saint Laurent:

This season Slimane invited Cherry Glazerr's front woman Clementine Creevy – who appeared in Slimane's first film for the brand – to produce the show soundtrack. Her song called “Had ten dollaz” was written and recorded for Saint Laurent in LA, and tells an autobiographical tale of the time Creevy spent her last $10 on cigarettes. The band are on LA's Burger Records label, which seems to be a personal favourite of Slimane.

Stand out looks:

The three "John Baldessari" abstract glitter couture dresses that came out in sync, one after the other on Helena Severin, Grace Hartzel and Edie Campbell. And the moments where British subculture codes were fed through Slimane’s Cali-grunge filter and glossed with Saint Laurent luxury: tartan hot pants in lines of glitter, a parka, and a granddad cardigan reimagined in soft, toffee-coloured fur.

The Saint Laurent manifesto:

This season, Slimane’s invitation and show book of artwork featured the images of American conceptual artist John Baldessari – best known for his appropriation works and for exploring the narrative power of images. Taken from his body of work produced between 1996-2004, the book featured a collage of shark attack images contrasted with close ups of human and primate mouths, and a wild flower bouquet captioned with ‘There isn’t time’. 

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John Baldessari artwork in the Saint Laurent invitation book
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John Baldessari artwork in the Saint Laurent invitation book

Models: Helena Severin (@helenaseverin), Louise Parker, Valery Kaufman (@ValeryKaufman), Lili Sumner (@lilisumner), Edie Campbell (@ebcampbell), Grace Hartzel (@graciehartzel), Nastya Sten (@nastyasten), Sam Rollinson (@samrollinson), Sarah Engelland (@sarahengelland), Hanne Gaby Odiele (@hannegabysays), Esmeralda Seay-Reynolds (@esmeraldangel), Harleth Kuusik (@harlethkuusik), Natalie Westling (@nataliewestling), Laura Schellenberg, Langley Fox Hemingway (@LangleyFox), Maja Salamon, Edie Campbell (@ebcampbell), Lexi Boling (@lexiboling)

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