PARIS – There was an air of the self-searching Seventies student in Hedi Slimane's debut menswear show at the rebranded Saint Laurent.
Long, striped thick-knit scarves, oversized jackets and ripped skinny jeans were worn by shaggily coiffed models who stomped grumpily down the catwalk rather than walked. Just like a confused teenager trying to find his identity, in this fall-winter 2013 show Slimane mixed up violently clashing styles. A whiff of sexual experimentation could be detected with the often androgynous models who donned feminine jackets. Sometimes it was hard to tell if the models were male or female.
But least one thing was clear: The wardrobe confusion was intentional.
This was seen most clearly in a look that combined leather motorbike pants in black and white with zippers, yellow tan Cuban heels, a casual oversized check shirt and a truncated red carpet tuxedo. Slimane is definitely trying hard to mark out an original style at the storied house.
Luxurious-looking this show certainly was not, but through pure eccentricity some ensembles ended up working. A printed cape with a black and white abstract patterning and tuxedo lapels came up trumps, albeit surprisingly, alongside a lame red blown-up leopard print top and lumberjack shirt.
Alas, like in Slimane's womenswear debut, the confusion translated into the silhouettes. Great individual pieces were almost drowned out here because of droopy coats, big flaccid capes and floppy scarves. They flapped about, sometimes blurring the accompanying clothes' shape.
The styles were also very young, with slim pickings for older men.
Slimane is trying hard to add a unique voice to the fashion conversation. He has succeeded. But is he trying too hard?
Thomas Adamson can be followed at http://Twitter.com/ThomasAdamsonAP