THE ICONOCLASTIC HEDI SLIMANE

THE ICONOCLASTIC HEDI SLIMANE

When he's not transforming high-fashion, the YSL creative director documents rock legends.

by sophie o'connor

Hedi Slimane, creative director of Saint Laurent, bridged the gap between fashion and music. His obsessive love of indie rock and his fascination with music’s wild side has forever inspired his designs and catwalk shows. During his seven years at Dior Homme he revolutionalised the traditional version of menswear; introducing the skinny tailored aesthetic that he became famous for. His collection of cropped jackets and super tight trousers, favoured by the rock star elite of the era, was met with critical acclaim.

In keeping with his raw taste Slimane preferred to street cast for his shows, favouring thin and androgynous looking young men; the more obscure looking the better. The sculpted male Adonis, popularised during the late 80s and early 90s, was replaced by a gaunt, straggly teenager; the radical designer had also transformed the catwalk.

Hedi Slimane, once influenced by rock stars, soon found himself in demand by those very same people, as the likes of Daft Punk, David Bowie, Mick Jagger and Pete Doherty had him design their stage wear. Even Karl Lagerfeld, so desperate to be dressed in Slimane's creations, embarked on a rapid weight loss scheme, losing 6 of his 16 stone to fit his mould.

During his fashion hiatus following his departure from Dior, Slimane pursued his other love, photography, embarking on his 15 year journey (to date of course) capturing candid portraits of young, dishevelled musicians and their fans. Guitar and cigarette in hand and sweaty, sex stained clothing, his online photo diary could be stills from an epic three day bender. From New York, California and London Slimane extensively documented the disenfranchised youth like no other. He captured the Libertines during their heyday when they still had the holy trifecta of sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll. He photographed Amy Winehouse and Lou Reed months before their deaths, preserving them forever in his epic album. Emerging star Sky Ferreira, his recent muse, was propelled to cult star status thanks to him.

Exposing his more tender side, Slimane cemented his photographer status this year with his series of photographs taken at Elvis Presley’s home. The simplicity of his photos, in terms of the subject matter and composition, stands in stark contrast to his recognised ‘rock star’ work. In these images there is a sense of sadness and poignancy that was not necessarily obvious in the rest of Slimane’s images.

A selection of Hedi Slimane’s finest images are currently on show at The Foundation Pierre Bergé Yves Saint Laurent in Paris in the Sonic exhibition. But, if you can’t make it, here are some of our favourite images.

Hedi Slimane_Photography_iconic_art_fashion_music_rock_documentary_YSL_article_portrait_Kids of Dada

Hedi Slimane_Pete Doherty_portrait_Photography_iconic_art_fashion_music_rock_documentary_YSL_article_Kids of Dada

Hedi Slimane_sky ferreira_portrait_Photography_iconic_art_fashion_music_rock_documentary_YSL_article_Kids of Dada

Hedi Slimane_Keith Richards_portrait_Photography_iconic_art_fashion_music_rock_documentary_YSL_article_Kids of Dada

Hedi Slimane_cigarette_Photography_iconic_art_fashion_music_rock_documentary_YSL_article_Kids of Dada

Hedi Slimane_portrait_Photography_smoking_iconic_art_fashion_music_rock_documentary_YSL_article_Kids of Dada

Hedi Slimane_portrait_Amy Winehouse_Photography_iconic_art_fashion_music_rock_documentary_YSL_article_Kids of Dada

Hedi Slimane_Photography_cigarettes_iconic_art_fashion_music_rock_documentary_YSL_article_Kids of Dada

Hedi Slimane_portrait_Photography_iconic_art_fashion_music_rock_documentary_mirror_YSL_article_Kids of Dada Hedi Slimane_portrait_Kate Moss_Photography_iconic_art_fashion_music_rock_documentary_YSL_article_Kids of Dada

 Hedi Slimane_Elvis_Photography_iconic_art_fashion_music_rock_documentary_YSL_article_Kids of Dada

Hedi Slimane_Photography_iconic_lick_art_fashion_music_rock_documentary_YSL_article_Kids of Dada

Hedi Slimane_Photography_iconic_art_fashion_music_rock_documentary_YSL_article_portrait_Kids of Dada

Leave a comment

Please note: comments must be approved before they are published.

90'S GRUNGE WEIGHS IN ON FASHION

Smudged lipstick, lolita-esque nighties, & ripped stockings, ready to confuse & disturb

Chloe Mackey

Read more »
Share »

A SEXLESS SOCIETY IS HERE

Fashion rides the gender blending trend  

Maria Raposo

Read more »
Share »

THE HEDI SLIMANE EFFECT ON YVES SAINT LAURENT

How the designer remade the house of Yves Saint Laurent

Greg French

Read more »
Share »

NAN GOLDIN: THE BALLAD OF SEXUAL DEPENDENCY

The artist captures the essence of humanity and life on the edge

Ellie Howard

Read more »
Share »

SYNCHRODOGS: “I must be dreaming”

We speak to the photography duo about synchronicity & the power of dreams

Ellie Howard

Read more »
Share »

MEET THE ARTISTS CHINA CAN'T KEEP CONTAINED

Artists Sun Yuan & Peng Yu use dead babies & live animals in their creations to blur the lines of art & reality

Peter Yeung

Read more »
Share »

JOSEPH BEUYS: I LIKE AMERICA AND AMERICA LIKES ME

What we can learn from artist about race relations and how to heal a nation    

Peter Yeung

Read more »
Share »

THE COLLAGE RENAISSANCE

Contemporary collage is the new Pop Art collectors are buying into

Harriet Baker

Read more »
Share »

DAVID BOWIE PUSHED THE LIMITS OF MUSIC, ART & FASHION

Bowie was an artist and an explorer that embodied true individuality that our generation craves

Fiona Ma

Read more »
Share »

FASHION PHOTOGRAPHY GETS HYPER-REAL

From Erwin Blumenfeld to Nick Knight, fashion constructs fantastical images

Greg French

Read more »
Share »

90'S GRUNGE WEIGHS IN ON FASHION

Smudged lipstick, lolita-esque nighties, & ripped stockings, ready to confuse & disturb

Chloe Mackey

Read more »
Share »

A SEXLESS SOCIETY IS HERE

Fashion rides the gender blending trend  

Maria Raposo

Read more »
Share »

THE HEDI SLIMANE EFFECT ON YVES SAINT LAURENT

How the designer remade the house of Yves Saint Laurent

Greg French

Read more »
Share »

NAN GOLDIN: THE BALLAD OF SEXUAL DEPENDENCY

The artist captures the essence of humanity and life on the edge

Ellie Howard

Read more »
Share »

SYNCHRODOGS: “I must be dreaming”

We speak to the photography duo about synchronicity & the power of dreams

Ellie Howard

Read more »
Share »

MEET THE ARTISTS CHINA CAN'T KEEP CONTAINED

Artists Sun Yuan & Peng Yu use dead babies & live animals in their creations to blur the lines of art & reality

Peter Yeung

Read more »
Share »

JOSEPH BEUYS: I LIKE AMERICA AND AMERICA LIKES ME

What we can learn from artist about race relations and how to heal a nation    

Peter Yeung

Read more »
Share »

THE COLLAGE RENAISSANCE

Contemporary collage is the new Pop Art collectors are buying into

Harriet Baker

Read more »
Share »

DAVID BOWIE PUSHED THE LIMITS OF MUSIC, ART & FASHION

Bowie was an artist and an explorer that embodied true individuality that our generation craves

Fiona Ma

Read more »
Share »

FASHION PHOTOGRAPHY GETS HYPER-REAL

From Erwin Blumenfeld to Nick Knight, fashion constructs fantastical images

Greg French

Read more »
Share »

THE EVOCATIVE IMAGES OF STREET PHOTOGRAPHY

Eminent street photographers find beauty in the ordinary

Leah Sinclair

Read more »
Share »

THE ZINE SCENE IS BACK

Self-Publishing is Having a Moment and It’s Redefining Youth and Self Expression

Leah Sinclair

Read more »
Share »

PLASTIC PURGERY – BARBIE IN BONDAGE BREAKS THE INTERNET

Photographer Mariel Clayton Reinvents the Stereotype of the Female Form

Fiona Ma

Read more »
Share »

LOUIS VUITTON - SERIES 3 EXHIBITION

Nicolas Ghesquière: less mask, more man

Greg French

Read more »
Share »

REGENERATION OR GENTRIFICATION?

The changing face of London’s artistic communities

Peter Yeung

Read more »
Share »

INSIDE THE CHELSEA HOTEL

The legendary New York hangout of rockstars and Hollywood royalty

Ellie Howard

Read more »
Share »

IN CONVERSATION WITH OLAF BREUNING

The artist talks about the endless interpretations of his work and life

Ellie Howard

Read more »
Share »

REVEALED: KURT COBAIN'S ORIGINAL ARTWORK

A dark look into the mind of Nirvana’s tortured frontman

Daryl Mersom

Read more »
Share »

ABOUT A GIRL: TEENAGERS IN POP CULTURE

Exploring media fantasies from saints to bad-ass sinners of female youth

Leah Sinclair

Read more »
Share »

ART GONE VIRAL

Performance art videos are paving the way for activism through social media

Leah Sinclair

Read more »
Share »

IN CONVERSATION WITH ARTIST TOM LEAMON

The ritual experiments of painting and poetry

Ellie Howard

Read more »
Share »

COLLAGE ARTIST HOLLY-ANNE BUCK/COLLAGISM

We talk to the artist about playing with abstraction & reconstructing reality

Ellie Howard

Read more »
Share »

FROM UNISEX TO ANTI-FASHION

Meet Rudi Gernreich, the first gender blender fashion activist

Alessandro Esculapio

Read more »
Share »

THE REVIVAL OF WARP N’ WEFT

From artisan to art; the lost craft of tapestry is making a comeback

KOD Staff

Read more »
Share »

THE ALCHEMY OF COLLAGE: ARTISTS IRINA & SILVIU SZEKELY

Art is not art if it doesn’t generate misrepresentation, confusion, anger or sarcasm

Ellie Howard

Read more »
Share »

THE CREATIVE CLASS: MAKING IT THEIR WAY

Photographer Francesca Allen captures the talented, genuine and real

KOD Staff

Read more »
Share »

'80S ICON KEITH HARING’S POP SHOP

The Art and Commerce of Giving Back

Alessandro Esculapio

Read more »
Share »

THE DEATH OF BRONSON

The art and literature of "Charles Bronson"; Britain's most notorious prisoner

KOD Staff

Read more »
Share »

THE PSYCHEDELIC LOVE-IN OF THE FABULOUS COCKETTES

San Francisco’s original underground glitter troupe

KOD Staff

Read more »
Share »

THE MODERN DAY DANDY CULT

Old fashioned values and classic sartorial style returns to mens fashion

Ellie Howard

Read more »
Share »
Top