When you think of Hedi Slimane's photography, a short list of stylistic elements probably runs into your mind: contrasted black and white images, subjects in motion, young dreamers, old school icons, out west Americana and girls with long hair fluttering mid-head bang. And those are the elements that have informed and run through his Saint Laurent campaigns since taking over as the brand's creative director in 2012.
But for fall 2014, Slimane is moving in a new direction. Saint Laurent's just-released AW14 ads feature model Valery Kaufman in Slimane's glittering, retro-inspired designs. Yes, the images are still that shade of black and white you've come to associate with Hedi Slimane's photography, but the mood has moved in a different direction.
Kaufman isn't styled like one of Slimane's skate kids or grunge rockers. She's polished up, with a blunt bob (courtesy of Dider Malige) and thick-winged eyeliner (crafted by Aaron de Mey). She's a bit more put-together, a bit more glam ... more of a Debbie Harry than a Marianne Faithfull or a Courtney Love (both of whom have been Saint Laurent campaign stars themselves).
Sure, the changes are subtle, but to a master of pop culture like Slimane so certainly is, they are meaningful. It's probably safe to say that this campaign with it's glam rock references is a sign that Saint Laurent is moving in a new direction – a pop-based, sparkling direction that we can really, really get into (and, we're guessing, shoppers will be into as well).
Check the the ad images below and the campaign video above, with music by Mr. Elevator & The Brain Hotel.