The Return of Originality in Haute Couture
One wouldn’t normally think that the words “Marilyn Manson” and “haute couture” belong in the same sentence, yet the creative director of fashion house Yves Saint Laurent, Hedi Slimane, has taken the fashion world by surprise in choosing Manson as the face of his 2013 Fall/Winter Men’s collection. This unconventional choice by Mr. Slimane has shocked many industry professionals, who have been more accustomed to seeing haute couture brands fronted by the Photoshop-perfect models and actresses of the moment, rather than the likes of this highly controversial and occasionally obscene industrial metal artist.
This Yves Saint Laurent campaign is a refreshing departure from the lackluster, “business
as usual” high fashion operations of late. It seems as though for the past decade, mainstream
fashion has embraced the dreadfully boring ideals of artificial, “perfect”, Photoshopped-to-death
beauty as a muse, and many of the forgettable designs they have produced echo this. I cannot
suffer through one more runway show where a gamut of snow white, expressionless waifs sweep
down the runway on their toothpick legs with their scrawny necks seemingly unable to support
their proportionally large, lollipop heads. There is a medical syndrome known as Line Hypnosis, a mental disorder often associated with working in meat processing plants, where workers spend
all day watching a never ending line of identical carcasses until it eventually causes a type of
temporary insanity. This is what I feel fashion has become.
It is no surprise that the fashion house to break free from this plague of monotony would
be Yves Saint Laurent. After all, it was Mr. Laurent himself who had the honor of being the first
designer ever to use black models in his catwalk shows. The brand has never been shy of
straying from the norm, and it will take haute couture leaders such as Saint Laurent to be the
catalyst of change for mainstream fashion to follow suit and adopt. It is time high fashion
returned to its macabre and inventive roots, and shed this shell of “catalogue beauty”. The
selection of Marilyn Manson for this campaign is sure to set an exciting new trend in haute
couture, and has made the sixteen-year-old goth girl inside of me ecstatic.