The Unexpected Shoes Hedi Slimane Sent Down The Saint Laurent Runway

Is there anything less Parisian than rubber wellies? Before tonight’s Saint Laurent show, the answer would be no. But, as designer Hedi Slimane always grounds his collection in a shape-shifter shoe, rainboots that would not be out of place from Land’s End to John o’ Groats (local speak for the whole of the U.K.) were his main irreverent message for spring ’16.

Inspired by Glastonbury festival dressing, where mud-proof boots are an essential, here they were given a grunge luxe redux that was almost too in line with the Saint Laurent M.O. of fashion disruption and a shaking up of old tropes. Think Lesage Atelier (the embroidery house owned by Chanel) decorated shafts. And sequins too. All paired with the kind of Kate Moss & Co. weekend wear done where a beaten up wax jacket and negligee are appropriate dress.

Saint Laurent Spring 2016 Paris Fashion Week Saint Laurent spring ’16 runway collection. Giovanni Giannoni/Fairchild.

A tinge of Grace Coddington’s iconic Vogue shoots of the ’90s was felt in the styling, which also included a ballskirt and slipping sweater, paired with studded barn boots no less. The finale of silk bias cut gowns were paired with spaghetti strap stilettos that were barely there. And compared to the cool gait the wellies gave the models, they were a nonevent. 

Saint Laurent Spring 2016 Paris Fashion Week Saint Laurent spring ’16 runway collection. Giovanni Giannoni/Fairchild.

Many brands — from Burberry to Valentino — have a strong rain boot business they are less than keen to highlight. It’s a little cheesy. A little uncool and disconnected with runway collections. Considering it poured all day in Paris, Slimane was once again in step with both the current climate and something there is an undeniable need for: splashy boots. 

Click through the gallery to see more Saint Laurent spring ’16 shoe looks.

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