The first time I saw Hedi Slimane I thought if we met, we’d be best friends. It was 2005 and I was a 15-years-old with an extreme Pete Doherty obsession. Hedi was interviewed for a BBC documentary where he gushed about how romantic and cool Pete was. We were both smitten.
Since then, Slimane has reinforced my best friend theory time-and-time again. He does the things I can’t do but would kill to. From being actual real life best friends with Kate Moss, to having French electro-duo, Justice, produce the music for his game-changing Dior Homme spring/summer 09 collection.
I suppose the only bad thing about my relationship with Hedi is that he doesn’t really know we have one. Fortunately, I’m not the kind of girl to let a little thing like that stand in my way.
When it was announced that he would be the new creative director of Yves Saint Laurent, to say I was excited would be putting it lightly. The brand had once been the epitome of cool, but unfortunately its heyday was over by the time I became fashion-obsessed. Buying a YSL t-shirt from my local JB Sports didn’t really get me going.
But Hedi changed all that. He brought back the cool. His first collection echoed the brand’s most iconic look, Le Smoking, but it had that unmistakable Slimane skinny silhouette. I was as smitten over the whole collection— and all those since— as Hedi and my 15-year-old self were over Pete Doherty.
Critics have said that everything in his Saint Laurent collections have been done before. And yes, they may have a point, but there’s something about that Slimane-twist he puts on things— it just makes it look so effortlessly cool. Unfortunately, I don’t have a spare £2500 to spend on a cropped leather jacket. But what’s brilliant about his designs is that they can be recreated with what’s on the high street. The cheap 10 denier tights from S/S 2015, the black leather mini skirt from S/S 2014, the plaid shirt over a dress from A/W 2013-2014, and the re-appearing leather biker jacket. I’ve done them all.
Back when Yves was head of the fashion house, his controversial choices made people talk. Most famously when he posed naked for the Pour Homme, YSL’s first male fragrance, advertising campaign 1971. And Hedi, just like Yves before him, isn’t afraid of a little controversy. His Saint Laurent campaigns have featured the less-than-wholesome Courtney Love. He caused outrage when he dropped the ‘Yves’. He’s been the subject an infamous Kanye West rant, and even made him break his no diss-tracks rule.
I like to think that if we did ever meet we’d instantly hit it off. I’d get a front row seat beside Pete at the Saint Laurent shows. We’d joke about which of us was most obsessed with Doherty back in the day. He’d give me diet tips. I’d become his newest muse, and we’d live happily ever after. Delusional, me?
If I’ve learned anything from my relationship with Hedi, it’s that rock stars will come and go, but best friend fantasies are forever.