Known for his original vision, Hedi Slimane brings a simple, spare grace to the worlds of photography and fashion. Alternating melancholy and hope, Slimane’s images are composed with great precision. The classical lighting and compositions are paired with dark, intriguing narratives. Influenced by many genres, Slimane’s vision is fresh and tinged by a romantic sensibility. As with his work as creative director at Dior Homme, his masterly photographs are superbly crafted and sublime. Slimane finds inspiration in the diverse realms of pop culture, nature, history—and the human form. This varied collection is sure to inspire. His subjects include Pete Doherty, Kate Moss and Lady Gaga—to mention a few.
ANTHOLOGY OF A DECADE:
In a 2003 conversation with then-Interview magazine editor Ingrid Sischy, French designer Hedi Slimane (born 1968) described his beginnings as a photographer: “I started taking pictures before I even began in fashion. I didn’t start with clothes until I was 16, but I had my first camera when I was 11. I’ve always taken pictures, almost like some people take notes or write down their thoughts.” As Hedi Slimane: Anthology of a Decade reveals, Slimane’s photographs, which traverse the music scene, the New York art scene, street fashion and haute couture, are as fresh as his groundbreaking work in fashion. Drawing on photographs taken throughout the past decade, this volume records Slimane’s early years in the fashion industry, before, during and after his tenures at Yves Saint Laurent and Christian Dior. It was during this decade that Slimane brought to men’s fashion an androgynous, rock verve that influenced couture worldwide. This selection of 175 color photographs lays bare Slimane’s inspirations for this look, evidencing his attention to both youth culture and more historical groundings in photography; in their composition, these pictures also affirm that the designer’s major contribution to contemporary haute couture has been his continual refinement of line and silhouette. Anthology of a Decade is revelatory both as a hitherto little-known instance of Slimane’s many talents, and as an elucidation of his work in fashion. Hedi Slimane (born 1968) was educated in Paris as a political scientist, art historian and as a tailor. From 1992 to 1995 he worked for Jean-Jacques Picart, and in 1997 he was appointed Collections and Art Director at Yves Saint-Laurent. Slimane moved to Dior in 2000, winning much acclaim for his Dior fragrances and skincare lines. In 2008 he moved to the U.S., and began to exhibit his art, and to collaborate with artists and musicians in New York.
Over the past few years, Hedi Slimane’s ongoing design collaborations with musicians on their stage costumes has allowed him unfettered access around the stages of live concerts by David Bowie, The White Stripes, Beck, The Rolling Stones, Blondie, The Strokes, The Libertines…in Paris, London, Berlin, New York and LA. This has evolved into a personal photographic investigation of the mythology of the rock concert. In his pictures, the stars of the shows are often conspicuously absent. It is about the creation of a rock personality, the silent ritual that goes on in the space he inhabits. His images capture “the sacred-almost sacrificial-space of the stage.”
LONDON BIRTH OF A CULT:
Pete Doherty’s life has epitomised the trajectory of a true rock ‘n roll legend. Following a fraught departure from The Libertines in June 2004, he has been vilified and cast as a scapegoat for conservative political posturing. A feeding frenzy of press coverage was precipitated by his dating (and apparently planning to marry) Kate Moss, being charged with robbery, blackmail and carrying a knife, spending time in jail and rehab, and admissions that he had been a prostitute and drug dealer. All of this overwhelms the most interesting aspect of the 26 year old musician’s life – in a business dominated by manufactured mediocre talents, he is a true original, a charismatic frontman, songwriter and performer. In the vein of Bowie, Dylan and Rimbaud, he is poet of our times whose place in popular culture will be established not through his celebrity but through his music. His new band, Babyshambles, will release a new album in July and will play the Glastonbury Festival. Hedi Slimane for two years collaborated with Doherty on his stage costumes and in that time built up an extensive photographic archive of the musician.