The realms of fashion and rock and roll often crossover for obvious reasons, the most apparent being that both worlds value beauty – not beauty in the classic sense of symmetry, but rather beauty in a sense of the unusual. Rock stars and songwriters with talent worthy of obsessing over often redefine what beautiful means: funny teeth, lazy eyes (I’m looking at you, Thom Yorke), and androgyny! So much androgyny. Bowie, Prince, Patti Smith. The Rolling Stones were labeled the ugliest band around by the press at a time when they were also the most potent, recognizable sex symbols in the world. Skinny boys, tough girls and eyeliner and lipstick on everyone. The weird, the ugly and the dangerous can become the desirable, and for this reason, those in the fashion industry borrow from those in rock and roll. (Or vice versa. See: Alexander McQueen.)
Designer, photographer and creative director for Saint Laurent, Hedi Slimane allows his fascination with music makers to color outside the lines of his work. His Rock Diary series features artists like Pete Doherty and Amy Winehouse, while his controversial re-branding of the conservative, office-friendly Yves Saint Laurent into the streetwear-inspired Saint Laurent was introduced to the world in 2012 with a 15-image spread of ex-Girls front man Christopher Owens, showcasing his tattoos and tousled hair much more than clothing.
Two seasons in, Hedi has given the public ad campaigns featuring Ariel Pink, Courtney Love, Zachary Cole Smith of DIIV and Daft Punk, and most recently turned to Berkeley-based artist Sam Flax to soundtrack Saint Laurent’s 2014 Spring/Summer collection at Paris Fashion Week.
Creating a track exclusively for the brand’s runway show earlier this month, Sam expanded “Fire Doesn’t Burn Itself,” the opener of his 2012 LP Age Waves, into a 20-minute track by painting on more layers, fuzzing out the vocals a bit, but otherwise preserving the original vibrations of his song. The shimmery, lo-fi track set the pace for Saint Laurent’s western glam menswear collection of leather pants, sequence shirts and cropped cowboy boots, which were modeled by hollow cheeked, pouty lipped Bowie impersonators, Chris Owens impersonators, Morrissey impersonators and Alex Turner impersonators.
Part Time, Sam Flax
August 16, 2013