The Spanish fast fashion retailer Zara strikes once again on Saint Laurent [click here for a previous example]. Thank you Zara, but what does this fact tells us about Hedi Slimane?
In French it is easy to get confused between the word fashion designer and stylist, since the words sound and look very similar [styliste and stylist]. Maybe Hedi Slimane got confused too. In the last seasons for Saint Laurent he has proven to be a tremendous stylist, creating amazing looks to which many young clients can relate to, but maybe less of a great fashion designer; in terms of womenswear he recreates previously existed aesthetics, while in his menswear collection he just recreates previous garments he already has done for for Dior Homme. I struggle to see newness in his designs or to see a design vision or even innovation of whatever nature. Like a stylist he knows very well the language of fashion, the meaning of every aesthetic and style existed, and he plays rather wisely with it. But being his strength the styling and not the design makes it very easy to reproduce Saint Laurent looks [all lefts] by fast fashion chains like Topshop or Zara [all rights]. If an influential and successful creative director like Hedi Slimane is not really creating anything new, nor an interesting new point of view on fashion makes me wonder if RTW is getting spiritually [not price wise of course] a little bit too close to the fast fashion market. Is this the right way to deal with this competition? I’d love to see RTW rise and move more far away from fast fashion, not the other way around.