It’s fashion legend that Yves Saint Laurent dressed both Mick and Bianca Jagger for their wedding in St Tropez, May 1971. How well the bride wore white YSL tailoring was the ultimate endorsement of Monsieur Yves’ sartorial liberation, a crowning glory years before 75’s iconic Helmut Newton photograph.
In 2013, Kim Gordon half-wears a Le Smoking, photographed by Hedi Slimane as part of his Saint Laurent music project, premiered here. A portrait series drawing on the relationship between rock icons and the house since its earliest days, the killer move being the artists style themselves in its seasonal and permanent collections to create an image of their own expression.
Inaugurated when the creative shot Christopher Owens as part of Saint Laurent’s reset, the ex-Girl was succeeded by Beck for the SS13 campaign. And follows Slimane’s history clothing Bowie, Jagger, The Libertines, The Kills, Franz Ferdinand; his ongoing photographic Rock Diary featuring emerging and established talents; commissioning show soundtracks by Daft Punk, Ty Segall and Thee Oh Sees as well as shooting Sky Ferreira for Saint Laurent’s pre-fall lookbook.
Gordon maintains the signature brilliance of a mannish woman in her picture, even nabbing Hedi’s own scarf. Part suited she treads a tightrope familiar from Sonic Youth, a free spirited girl with total TCB steeliness.
Courtney Love, photographed several times by Slimane over the past decade, is seen at home in a pinstriped suit and silk ruffle shirt wigging out over her guitar. Let It Bleed, Love’s ink locked in standoff with an evening dress, is a statement Mick J has history with, cake sculpture optional.
Marilyn Manson, he who drawled “I’m not an artist but a fucking work of art” follows, complemented by Ariel Pink who shows off his party trick with chipped nail polish. Both wear bikers.
If Yves Saint Laurent was fascinated with the arts – think of the epic Ballet Russes collection of AW76, though not only – this quartet have a subliminal link in Hedi’s exploration of West Coast cultural mythology.
Beyond that? They wear it well, a reminder of the magnetic insouciance that separates a rock star with someone who is simply in a band. Vive la difference.
TEXT DEAN MAYO DAVIES
PHOTOGRAPHY HEDI SLIMANE
DAZED DIGITAL, APRIL 2013