Hedi vs. Raf
As Milan’s catwalks leave our rear-view mirror, it’s on to Paree and the biggest story of the season so far. For the almighty tussle between two newly appointed designers – Raf Simons at Dior and Hedi Slimane at YSL - is about to go off, and anticipation amongst fashion insiders is reaching fever-pitch.
First up is Raf at Dior, showing at 2.30pm on Friday afternoon. Taking the reins of the beleaguered fashion house, Simons - whose tenure at Jil Sander ended abruptly last season as Jil herself returned to her eponymous label – is expected to bring his brand of modern minimalism to Dior’s Jolie Madame customer.
After a strong debut at the couture shows in July, Simons will stage his first ready to wear line in a purpose-built structure outside Place Vauban, at the foot of the gold-domed chapel at Invalides, while information on Slimane’s show venue still remain under wraps.
In Hedi news, the house will now be known as 'Saint Laurent' while ‘Saint Laurent Paris’ is to be used in the logo.
Elsewhere, talk is rumbling about the impact of the “Clash of the Titans” on other designers in the French fashion capital with WWD reporting that “Many top talents here [Paris] are said to be anxious about Slimane and Simons stealing all the thunder, and are concentrating on putting their best foot forward.”
Karl Lagerfeld reckons the new blood is vital for PFW saying, “I think it will be an exciting season in Paris. It is needed! It’s stimulating and both [Simons and Slimane] are people I like a lot with a lot of talent.” Alber Elbaz concurred speaking yesterday during a preview of his Spring Lanvin collection; “I think it’s going to be a fashion moment in Paris. I think it’s something that a lot of people are feeling and thinking about, and I love competition because it moves me forward. You know, I’m not a jealous person. I’m only jealous of people who can eat and don’t gain weight.”
Also noted in WWD’s report is the intense competition for models, with some labels blocking top walkers for four to five hours before their shows. What’s more Slimane is said to have lined up a pack of exclusive new faces for the Saint Laurent (fingers crossed that’s the right credit!) show which will be held on Monday night at 8pm. Talk about stress central. All we can say is that we wish the two new hires the very best of Britsh!