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8 p.m.: Say what you want about Hedi Slimane, but you can’t deny that he seems to know what women are in the mood to wear. Critics were on the fence about his last collection, which brought back grunge. Grunge at Saint Laurent? Isn’t that blasphemy? And yet the plaids and biker boots that defined that collection are arguably the most knocked-off things in stores right now. I have the feeling the same will happen with the tiny, rocker girl dresses and jackets he showed for spring, even if it doesn’t look entirely fresh or new. The clothes are cool and sexy, but Isabel Marant already got there first. No matter, this updated take on that French rocker girl je ne sais quoi will be all over Zara and the like come March, if not sooner.
11 a.m.: Despite the fabulous art-world set at Chanel, the real party began with the clothes, which ranged from sophisticated tweed suits to younger, urban dresses, all in saturated colors and painterly graphics. They were the polar opposite of last season’s work, which was darker and filled with Karl Lagerfeld’s rocker edged trademarks. Interestingly, he showed the clothes to a soundtrack of just one song: “Picasso Baby,” which Sean Carter notoriously performed with the blue-chip performance artist (and fashion favorite) Marina Abramovic. The show could have been a statement on the idea of fashion as wearable art, but that would be too neat and tidy for Lagerfeld. Instead, the collection ended up highlighting the way we consume fashion. Seeing his belted, hot pink tweed suit stroll past a giant red sculpture drove home the idea that, in this moment, fashion is all about display. If the right girl wears that suit, it will be photographed, Instagrammed and tweeted across too many feeds to count, just like what happened with the Russian “it” girl Elena Perminova (wearing Chanel tweed, of course) immediately after the show.