Paris Fashion Week has officially begun but it won't really begin until Raf Simons shows his Dior Ready-to-Wear debut collection this Friday. As WWD observed in its front page feature this morning, the Paris fashion story belongs to the two newcomers on the scene: Simons and his "Saint Laurent" (which we're still, I think, allowed to call "YSL" for short) counterpart, Hedi Slimane, will both present collections that stand as new beginnings for two iconic Paris fashion houses. The upcoming shows are as highly anticipated as a cigarette is to a chain smoker after a twelve hour nonstop flight. We are all shaking for it.
All this pressure can't be contained, and it's seeped out into the rest of the Paris fashion scene. Alber Elbaz of Lanvin, for example, isn't nervous about the pretty new girl that threatens to oust his Queen Bee status: “You know, I’m not a jealous person. I’m only jealous of people who can eat and don’t gain weight." But he's not exactly checking his ambition at the door: "It motivates all of us to work harder and find solutions."
Simons seems too busy designing clothes and being a darling to play any head games with his fellow French designers, but Slimane's debut was never going to be all about the clothes. Not only did the former Dior Homme designer change YSL's name once he took the helm at the legendary brand, he also relocated it to Los Angeles and wasted a lot of breath talking up his big changes to the press. He allegedly also fired the manager of the YSL boutique in Los Angeles when the employee didn't recognize his new boss on sight. Slimane has a ruthless streak which is for sure going haywire in the days leading up to his Saint Laurent debut. According to WWD, the designer's booked a whole crop of brand new models to walk exclusively on his catwalk. And Fashionista separately reports that they heard that 18-year-old Lily McMenamy, daughter of the legendary Kristen Samelastname, will have her modeling initiation exclusively on the Saint Laurent runway in what'll be a highly scrutinized collection.
Her card (above) was included in Next Management's show package, alongside Arizona Muse's and Aline Weber's. Who knows how Lily walks or how consistently she photographs, but based on the photo above, she has the same creepy, alien grace which fueled her mother's career.