"I like your stye. A little Bowie, a little Bardot, and a look on your face that says I could kick the shit out of a truck driver" - Michael Shannon as Kim Fowley in The Runaways (2010)
Saint Laurent's Menswear SS15 bohemian street kid collection has forced me to practice my deep breathing skills way too often recently. Each one of the 68 looks in this collection has something notable to revel upon thanks to the designer Heidi Slimane. Allusions to The Ramones, Jimi Hendrix, Robert Mapplethorpe, Patti Smith, Mick Jagger, and even Nikolai Fraiture seemed to flood my brain with this assemblage. Copious amounts of silver chains, paisley prints, oxblood velvets, fluid chiffons, cowhide leather, and intricate gems adorn each wearer in an almost ritualistic fashion. And to top it off, all of the models wearing the designs were unapologetically young and full of (s)punk.
When I first saw these designs I immediately thought of The Runaways club scene. The biopic of the '70s all girl rock band - fronted by Joan Jett and Cherie Currie - starts at its origins when Kim Fowley (Michael Shannon) scouts out the underage Cherie Currie (Dakota Fanning) at a nightclub. With freshly bleached hair, a Bowie shag cut, severe blush contouring and a smart neck scarf - Cherie sips from a bottle of Mountain Dew fantastically all alone. That is how I envision all of these muses: night club wall huggers that know something you don't.
Another notable attribute to this collection is that Hedi Slimane effectively expresses the "bohemian" style without falling into traditional tropes and appropriations. You might see fringe, but you don't see ridiculous Native American moccasin rip-offs. Some of the models wear blanket ponchos, but are void of stereotypical "southwestern" prints. Instead of lazily browsing the '70s western influenced trends, Slimane dives deep into every fabric and accessory's lineage, so it appears. To put it simply: this collection is smart.
(Runway photos from Style.com)
What sent me over the edge was the reference to '70s glam culture, notably headed by Bowie himself. You can find it in very small ways. My favorite was through the footwear worn by one of the female models, silver lace-up metallic boots peppered with dazzling red stars (subdued by an oversized printed pant). The glam emerges again through certain blazers, subtly in the velvet ensembles, and more pronounced in the later more flashy looks. Something about the silver and red pin stripe blazer reminded me of carnival season in the best way possible.
(The Runways, Cherie center w/ Bowie inspired metallic jumpsuit)
(Patti Smith and Robert Mapplethorpe, Cherie Currie)
The collection in its entirety was impressive. Although I prefer a little more glam rock to my bohemian taste, it is undeniable that this body of work was completely successful. I enjoyed the intricacy of the pieces and it was fun seeing such a young crowd of models bring them to life (ex. Jack Kilmer, see my Palo Alto Film Muse here). Although the line was debuted for Spring and Summer 2015, I know what my upcoming fall wardrobe will be inspired by.
Rock 'n' Roll Night Club Tunes