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Daft Punk composes new music for Saint Laurent spring fashion show

File photo.
File photo.

Saint Laurent Paris’ new creative head, Hedi Slimane, reached out to Daft Punk, the influential electronic music group, to record an original composition for his debut collection at Paris Fashion Week on Oct. 1.

Unfortunately for Slimane’s first women’s collection, the music out-performed the show.

Guy-Manual de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter, who together constitute Daft Punk, reworked samples of blues musician Junior Kimbrough to create a moody 15-minute piece that certainly complimented the collection’s dark color palate.

The piece is a departure from Daft Punk’s more traditional works. Kimbrough’s naturally harsh voice slides over the riffs, which have just enough of Daft Punk’s electronic influence.

The vocals come intermittently over the uncharacteristically slow work, but with enough soul for fashion’s finest to walk with vigor.

While Daft Punk’s composition has received almost universal praise, the collection brought mixed reviews.

Being Slimane’s debut collection for Saint Laurent Paris as well as his first women’s collection, the pressure to deliver was immense.

Slimane is often cited as the designer who stylized skinny jeans for men, and his ready-to-wear collection for women continued this trend with pencil thin trousers matched with floppy bows.

The show was one of the most highly-anticipated during Paris Fashion week with nearly every big name designer in attendance. Designers Marc Jacobs, Riccardo Tisci, and celebrities like Salma Hayek, Sky Ferreira and Kate Moss all lined the runway.

Every model wore a wide-brimmed hat, which along with the nearly universally black and earthy brown colors of the pieces brought unity to the show. Indeed the grungy Daft Punk soundtrack matched the fashion effortlessly with each emitting a despondent but resilient feeling.

While Slimane’s tops were clean and edgy, his dresses were chaotic and somewhat casual. Tassels draping from seams and a bit too much fabric on flowing, floor-length pieces looked out of place for one of high fashion’s most storied names.

During the finale, Slimane finally showed us a burst of color, with more billowing looks in emerald and cherry; however, these looks seemed designed as homage to Saint Laurent tradition rather than to further the collection.

Junior Kayla VanderPloeg, who often designs her own clothes and costumes, said that the collection displayed more of a bohemian style.

“It’s trying to convey a more casual and laid back design,” she said.

Many media outlets described the collection as vintage rock and roll but that the looks were “safe.” Indeed most everyone agreed that Slimane stayed true to Saint Laurent tradition but failed to create many unique looks.

Pierre Berge, co-founder of Yves Saint Laurent told The New York Times that Slimane’s collection “respected the codes of Saint Laurent.”

The editor of Italian Vogue, Franca Sozzani agreed.

“If you loved Saint Laurent, you cannot not love it,” she said.

If you invested in gold in the 1970s, you should be able to afford a few of Saint Laurent’s new looks, whereas Daft Punk’s composition is available to stream online for free via SoundCloud.

About the Author

Justin Vanden Ende

Justin Vanden Ende is a Chimes on-call writer for the 2012-13 school year.

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