Hedi Slimane puts the boys in the band centre stage at last night's Hollywood Palladium show in Los Angeles, says Divya Bala
4,482 kilometers and a red-eye flight away from the start of NYFW, sandwiched between the Grammy's and the Oscars in one of L.A's most storied musical institutions, the Saint Laurent Spectacle - with a capital S - is about to begin. Having played host to the likes of Frank Sinatra, The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin and Prince over the ages, the Palladium makes for the perfect setting for Slimane's dipped-in-the-sweat-of-rockstars collection.
Under the watchful drone of the helicopters circling above, the red carpet - dyed black, of course - was brimming with a curious selection of rock royalty, fledgling indie musicians, actors, pop stars... and Pamela Anderson? Granted, it's her son Dylan Lee that was the Slimane attraction. You couldn't swing a Fender without hitting the likes of Lady Gaga, Courtney Love, Miranda Kerr, Justin Bieber, Joan Jett, Beck, Ellen DeGeneres, Sky Ferreira, Alexa Chung, Mark Ronson, Father John Misty - the list literally goes on.
The collection itself, dripping in '70s rock 'n' roll sensibility, backstage references and casually eccentric aristocratic elements, suited the crowd perfectly. Though the women's collection was not without its charms - a skirt with fringed, silver shooting-star embellishment was a standout, as were the litany of vintage-print dresses worn with long boots creeping up under midi lengths, cinched with wide waist belts - it was the men's collection that inspired groupie-levels of gaga.
Think: bandleader jackets transformed with intricate metallic embroidery, paisley scarves in cognac, gold and red, a black foil leopard print coat, flight jackets weighed down with heavy brocade - and the gold! Trimmed along a velvet blazer in deep plum, spray painted over a fur jacket, polished onto boots, dripping down the long, swaying lengths of a fringed cowboy jacket as though each strand had been engineered by Midas himself.
Throw in some sumptuous shearling gilets, impossibly skinny suiting and a few flat-rimmed fedoras for good measure and you've got a wardrobe that rivals The Rolling Stone's tour bus circa 1972.