Saint Laurent

Fashion's cognoscenti gathered anxiously at the Grand Palais in Paris to see Hedi Slimane's womanswear debut as the newly appointed Creative Director of the newly named Saint Laurent. What they got was a brilliant mash-up of the storied fashion house's signature styles and Slimane's version of witchy ladies in the seventies.The setting may well have been Los Angeles' infamous Chateau Marmont, as wide-brimmed chapeaux, Le Smoking jackets, bow-tie blouses, and slim trousers gave off a distinct rock royalty vibe, with a dash of that Spy vs. Spy look. Fringe jackets hinted at spaghetti westerns, while bohemian dresses teamed with long tassel necklaces had Stevie Nicks written all over them. A black leather lace-up jacket with four flap pockets offered a luxurious update to the brand's safari suit that Veruschka so famously modeled decades ago, and pointed-toe, t-strap heels lent a ladylike contrast to the collection's edgy looks. Rounding out the show, a series of dramatic floor-length gowns paired with capes perfectly captured Slimane's ladies-of-the-canyon theme. It was a strong first showing for Slimane under the Saint Laurent name, and given the collection's wearability, we expect to see plenty of its standout pieces on chic women this spring.--Jessica Baker