Last Thursday, on the 18th of September, the exhibition named ‘Sonic’ opened in the Paris-based Fondation Pierre Bergé-Yves Saint Laurent. It takes a look at 15 years of Hedi Slimane’s photographic musical archives, ranging from London to New York, with particular focus on the beautiful Californian cycle begun in 2007, from which came ‘California Song’, the exhibition at the MOCA / Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles in November 2011. In ‘Sonic’ studio portraits of highly influential and heroic rock figures like Lou Reed, Keith Richards, Pete Doherty, Amy Winehouse and Brian Wilson, stand alongside images of alternative scenes from London or California. The exhibition is completed with a video installation, juxtaposing the musical cycles of London (2003-2007) and California (2007-2014) in a documentary style, painting an alternative portrait of two generations of performers and their fans. This combination of two worlds; that of the icons of rock and roll and on the other side the rock and roll to be found in everyday life, exemplifies Slimane’s unique creative vision and masterful observations from which all his work, whether as Artistic Director in fashion or as a photographer, stems. Make sure to visit whenever in Paris!
In 1996 Pierre Bergé for the first time started the cooperation with the then very young Hedi Slimane by installing hem in the position of Director of Menswear at Yves Saint Laurent, after which he became Artistic Director. From this position Slimane revived Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche, based on the ateliers de couture.
In 2000 Christian Dior appoints him as Creative Director of Menswear where he creates Dior Homme through which the status of the Paris-born rises to iconic within contemporary fashion.
Slimane imposes his style and his new male silhouette, stretched. The skinny look is relayed by his peers male and female and adopted worldwide. The silhouette, combined with the thin black tie, becomes his signature and the start in fashion of the rock revival. In July 2007 Hedi Slimane decides not to renew his contract with Dior and relocates to Los Angeles. In April 2002 he is the first menswear designer to receive the CFDA award for International Designer. And finally in March 2012 fashion house Yves Saint Laurent appoints Hedi Slimane as Creative Director assuming total responsibility for the brand image and all its collections, which he’s been executing in signature style.
Born in Paris in 1968, Hedi Slimane now a days lives in Los Angeles. He is a photographer and one of the most influential fashion designers of the last two decades. He has published several books including ‘Anthology of a Decade’ 2011 by JRP-Ringier, a comprehensive lexicon of his years of music, fashion and photography which is available as part of the ‘World of Black’ curated goods within Our Current Obsessions. He also exhibited widely his photographic work in Europe and in the US.
Hedi Slimane is represented by the Almine Rech Gallery.
Photography of the exhibition space by Hedi Slimane.
The Fondation Pierre Bergé-Yves Saint Laurent is located at 3 rue Léonce Reynaud in Paris.
It is opened Tuesday to Sunday from 11:00 until 18:00, where ‘Sonic’ will run until the 11th of January 2015.