This just in: Art Catalogues at LACMA is hosting a “birthday party” to launch the publication of Hedi Slimane’s four-volume limited-edition book, Hedi Slimane: Anthology of a Decade 2000-2010 at 5:30 p.m. this afternoon at Art Catalogues (which is located on the ground floor of the Ahmanson galleries at LACMA). Drinks (and cake?) will be served; and Hedi Slimane is expected to be on hand to sign copies of the book. An RSVP is requested – [email protected], or (323) 857-6000, and you can reserve a signed copy at the same time.
As you may be aware, Slimane has been about town off and on for some time now – having arrived at a late-blooming fascination with L.A.’s surf and skate subculture. His website is crammed with photographs of southern California highways, by-ways, coastal suburbia, and beachsides, interspersed with the oddities and incongruities that punctuate these landscapes and what look like model boys or incipient surfers, skateboarders, rocksters, punksters, and the odd left-over icon of what was once the American cultural underground (e.g., Joe Dallesandro). It’s a loosely strung together scrapbook of images, though it should also be noted that Slimane has published dozens of fashion editorial shoots over the last decade, and exhibited many of his photographs, including portraits of major Los Angeles artists (John Baldessari, Ed Ruscha, etc.).
But for those of us who pine away for his glory days at Dior Homme, when his slender, androgynous, just slightly punk-inflected silhouette made him the go-to guy for the boy-tailored suit every girl – as well as boy – had to have, you should also be aware that there is a fashion diary on the site featuring, in addition to many of his editorial spreads, photographs (Slimane’s to be sure) of women – swathed in everything from long, flowing chiffon peignoirs (worn over what look like harnesses), raffish, funked-up leather jackets with 19th century lapels and cartridge belts, rubber-chainmail armour (well), and bird-of-prey shrugs and sheer bustiers. Will he ever veer back in that direction (to say nothing of designing – fantasy-time! – for women)? Slimane has made his infatuation with photography (and L.A. and its various art and subcultural peripheries) plain; and as Karl Lagerfeld would know, it’s a bug that, having bitten, never really lets go. But then Lagerfeld – whose famously austere diet regimen was reputedly instigated by his desire to shoehorn himself into the Slimane Dior Homme suit – is still with Chanel. And M. Lagerfeld is a very wise man in this world. What remains is for someone (shout out to Francois Pinault) to make him an offer he can’t refuse.
But why wait for the ‘word of the wise,’ when Slimane himself will be on hand to answer the question. Your loyal Examiner will be there to put the question to him.