September 1 2014

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Hedi Slimane Speaks: “Nothing Looks Worse Than A Dress Or A Suit On A Red Carpet”


In recent years—with only a few notable exceptions—former Dior Homme designer Hedi Slimane has preferred to be seen (through his photographs, for magazines and on his frequently updated online Diary) than heard. But for the April of Menswear, published by Women’s Wear Daily, Slimane sat down with the magazine’s Miles Socha for a Q&A. The full interview—in advance of the publication of Anthology of a Decade, a four-volume edition of the designer-turned-lensman’s photographs, including the one above—arrives on newsstands and online on Monday. Below, an exclusive preview.

Has being a photographer given you a more objective view of the fashion industry?
Hedi Slimane: It seems quite refreshing to be on this side of fashion, to have the distance and freedom. The fashion system has been busy keeping up with broadband and blogging/social networking. It is not always for the best, but it did give fashion a global audience. The unfortunate outcome might be the obsession and collusion between the celebrity culture and high fashion. It is just a big global mess of random endorsement. Nothing looks worse than a dress or a suit on a red carpet. It is an ongoing tragedy of cheap fashion on cheap celebrities, followed by ubercheap comments. I only like designers’ clothes on models. Good models have an inner understanding of the clothes and design.

Any predictions about the next big look?
I would need to be back in an atelier to answer you…But we should drop for good this predictable story each season about a lean and youthful male figure versus conventional men’s wear and male proportions. There is obviously room for everything…Besides, an athletic man, or whatever you want to call him, will only look good in a very classic suit, a pair of classic jeans, athletic clothes, or simply naked. Forget fashion. This is not going to happen, unless you want to look like a Chippendales dancer in designer clothes…And by “fashion,” I mean men’s fashion at the same level as women’s. This is what I always pursued during my design years, defending the idea of men’s fashion rather than men’s wear.

Photo: Hedi Slimane

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