You know when celebrities talk about things that they’re doing that you can’t do and you go, “Dang: that would be fun!” and it’s a bit of FOMO but you’re not a celebrity so you’re used to it? That’s an annoying feeling.
That familiar feeling is what you get when look at some new advertisements from cool brand Saint Laurent. I spotted a few in Venice over the weekend which are not in support of a new available line or an app or anything we can all engage with: it’s for a fashion show that only select people will be able to attend, which will be happening at a Los Angeles concert venue. The brand has been teasing the event on Twitter and daddy Hedi Slimane has a storied love of LA so this move really isn’t that surprising: it just feels ridiculous, like an Instagram post magnified and printed outside of phones.
The event will coincide with The Grammys and, while seemingly cool and populist, gives me lots of gross out vibes, that this is a big very showily advertised non-concert-concert exclusive event that you cannot attend but you can buy into in the future, after select non-yous who can actually afford it get to see it. It feels like a moment of celebrity gone above and beyond, where the velvet ropes come for you to strangle you in recognition or warn you not to drive around that part of town because there might be traffic. Slimane’s work at the brand has lots of people wetting their black pants and mini-skirts but this feels like a new level of bizarre brand abuse, a whoring out to specific celebrities at a specific moment of celebrity (The Grammys, Los Angeles, etc.).
It feels like a joke and, since the event falls two days before the release of the mindless, fashion skewing comedy Zoolander 2, it very well may be a hoax. It is all very “LOOK AT ME!!!!,” very artist as celebrity as whore. While that is the contemporary metric of success—and ultimately what fashion is now—this instance is particularly icky since Laurent clothes are so tied to rock and roll now and celebrity incest.
So, this new show and advertising and collection really must be a parody, a comment on the unreality on rock and roll therefore Hollywood therefore fashion. Is that the case? Maybe, like a leather jacket, it’s an idea you can slip on to fit in with others? That’s probably it. Some may find it thrilling but, like all public masturbation, someone ends up covered in something sticky they didn’t want to be covered in.