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Saint Laurent SS16
Agyness Deyn (OUI) at Saint Laurent SS16Photography Virginie Khateeb

Agyness Deyn makes a runway return at Saint Laurent

The era-defining model had been absent from the catwalk since 2011

Agyness Deyn is the model whose bleach blonde, boy-short crop defined an era (think the mid-00s London fashion scene of Henry Holland slogan t-shirts and nights out at BoomBox). There was a time when the Brit was on every billboard and magazine cover as far as the eye could see, but she’s been taking it easy of late, not having walked a runway since 2011.

Until last night that is, when Deyn – real name Laura Hollins – made an official catwalk return, joining the ranks of tiara-wearing grunge girls that made up Saint Laurent’s SS16 gang. Sporting long hair and a sleeveless leather jacket, the model took to the runway alongside the likes of Hedi Slimane favourites Lili Sumner and Lida Fox. 

Despite its odes to California (both its music and the artist chosen for its invitation had associations with the Golden State, where Slimane is based) the collection had a quintessentially British 90s/00s festival aesthetic, as models donned slinky, underwear-revealing slip dresses paired with men’s camo coats, fur and wellies. These were the girls you either wanted to be, or to be with.

Titled Skin, it felt like the perfect uniform and setting for an Agyness Deyn comeback. After all, she was a model who pioneered having character as well as beauty, something firmly adopted by Slimane (who has photographed her several times in the past). As she said in Dazed’s February 2008 issue, “Just being ‘pretty’ doesn’t cut it anymore in fashion... there has to be something behind it. It’s not just about being a model, being the face of something, and fronting a band or whatever. There has to be something for kids to relate to now.”

Whether this was a one off or a full blown comeback remains to be seen. But the model hasn’t been twiddling her thumbs in her time away from the catwalk – she’s been busy working as an actress and with her own fashion label, Title A.

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