The Saga Ensues: Horyn Calls Slimane's Saint Laurent Collection Lazy

Just what we've been waiting for: Cathy Horyn's review of Hedi Slimane's Fall 2013 collection for Saint Laurent. The two are not-so-secretly bitter enemies, which is why Horyn was not invited to the show. (Remember the Spring 2013 she said, he said drama following Slimane's debut?) Well, it appears they are at it again. In a piece entitled, Clothes Worthy of Their Label, Horyn addresses the Hermes, Miu Miu, and Louis Vuitton Fall 2013 shows, but the real highlights: her thoughts on Saint Laurent. Read her review below and don't miss our favorite parts, which are in bold. No response from Slimane ... yet.

"You sometimes think, at the bleary end of a runway season, that fashion would be better off if companies didn’t have labels to sell.

Take Saint Laurent. One of the first things the new designer, Hedi Slimane, did was to remove “Yves” from the label, thereby severing a symbolic connection to the founder, and everything he stood for, like good taste and feminine power. But it was also a test of the label’s enduring appeal.

Who needed the extra syllable when Saint Laurent was virtually lodged in people’s ears, and so much fun to say?

Mr. Slimane has been the talk of Paris Fashion Week, or at least the closing days, largely because he showed a grunge collection of baby-doll dresses and flannel shirts, which I viewed online because I was not invited to the show. Opinion varied widely. Many people said the clothes looked like stuff sold at Topshop or a thrift store, while others defended Mr. Slimane’s approach and identified pieces, like a pink fur chubby, that relate back to Yves’s designs of the late ’60s and early ’70s, when he got ideas — say, for a pea coat — from the street. It’s doubtful that customers will make that connection, but such comments serve to validate what Mr. Slimane has done.

And the controversy is good for Saint Laurent. But mainly it was clear to me how strong the name is. In terms of design, the clothes held considerably less value than a box of Saint Laurent labels. Without the label attached to them, Mr. Slimane’s grunge dresses wouldn’t attract interest — because they’re not special. But a box of labels is worth a million. Hermès stands in sharp contrast to the Saint Laurent show and its lazy values."