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Exclusive: Revisiting Saint Laurent’s Glitzy Palladium Collection

The Los Angeles show was Part One of Hedi Slimane's last collection for Saint Laurent.
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How aware was Hedi Slimane of his impending departure when he took his finale bow at Saint Laurent’s Los Angeles show? Very much, we’re guessing. Staged at the L.A’s Palladium Theatre instead of the usual Paris, the show, a mix of menswear and womenswear, was perhaps Slimane’s most spectacular in his four-year tenure at Saint Laurent. If you go out, you go out with a bang, correct? It wasn’t just the A-grade guest list – Justin Bieber, Ellen DeGeneres, Courtney Love, Alexa Chung, the Fanning sisters, just to name a few – that contributed to the glitz, though. Hundreds of spotlights that glimmered like constellations in the theatre’s dim brought out the shine in the collection’s sequined, velvet and metallic pieces.

The collection itself referenced the late 1960s and 1970s – some looks paid homage to Monsieur Yves Saint Laurent’s longtime muses Loulou de la Falaise and Betty Catroux – which, if you recall, were the starting points of Slimane’s Saint Laurent debut. The Palladium was filled to the roof with that Slimane brand of rock ‘n’ roll. Then there’s that bow at the end, a rare treat from the typically camera-shy designer. It all seemed so fitting for a swan song, or, at least, a prelude to it. (The collection, “Part 1” of Saint Laurent’s Fall/Winter 2016, turned out to be his second to last.)

Despite the naysayers and controversy, Slimane’s reign at Saint Laurent was ultimately successful in bringing in the dough, the young and the young at heart. Say what you will about him – Slimane (who celebrates his 48th birthday today!) chose to break the rules and the high glamour of his forebears, and it worked. We don’t know where he’s headed to next, but we, like so many others, cannot wait to find out. A chapter closes, and a new one begins.

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