It's very apt that Hedi Slimane's big passion is music. Throughout history, all the best bands, the coolest ones, caused outrage. They'd split camps - on one hand, there'd be the agitators - those condemning the band's music for undermining moral values, upsetting the social order and generally wreaking anarchy, then there would be the super fans, the ones who for whom the lyrics and lines meant everything. Slimane has become fashion's own moral dilemma, the style world's version of the Sex Pistols or Marilyn Manson (aptly one of the current faces of the label), the new infant terrible on the scene - the critics complain he's undermining the hierarchies of the industry and disrespecting the editors, all while devaluing high fashion by showing clothes that could effectively have been plucked from an LA thrift store or, in this case of today's menswear show, a well-stocked Bowie tribute shop; see those heavy metallics, skinny vinyl trousers and made-up lips. But Slimane's put himself in an untouchable position, because - despite all the hype, egos and hoopla that surround him and his show - he essentially champions the everyday. Those baseball jackets and skinny jeans weren't lofty or difficult. Neither were the stripy t-shirts, fitted blazers and bikers. Most of the looks on show were entirely wearable - indeed, they are being worn by swarms of kids who are already channeling Slimane's last collection around London, Paris and L.A.
Just as the clothes on display barely varied in silhouette or style from last season's tribute to rockstar dressing, Slimane's controversial choice of models - he favours emaciated kids from 'up-and-coming' indie bands (The Garden? Dr Skinnybones? No, me neither) - hadn't varied either. But that's to be expected, Slimane's proved that while he's not keen on criticism, he's certainly not one to bow to it. He's created an interesting challenge for the fashion press - 'criticise me and you're criticising the fashion that's everywhere on the street', he's saying. That's what's so brilliant and revolutionary about his - is it good design? No, not really. But is it relevant? Yes, and certainly more so than any of the fashion on neighbouring runways. That's what's so tricky about the boys that walk in his show, like his clothes, they can be found on the street. These are kids from bands not model agencies. So their thinness may distress us but it's a very real vision of masculinity, and one that no one else seems to be acknowledging other than Slimane.