Beyond Couture

Shot through a window on the first floor of Hôtel de Sénecterre, Lida Fox dances gracefully in a Saint Laurent couture gown. With one leg in the air, Fox’s dress just brushes the chandelier above her, and the restored 17th-century mansion looks like a perfect dollhouse framing her movements—something from the set of the Nutcracker ballet.

Earlier today, Saint Laurent announced the return of their couture collection—the French label’s first since Mr. Saint Laurent stepped down in 2002—with a new campaign shot by Hedi Slimane. Featuring Saint Laurent favorites Fox, Flo Dron, Boy Devon, and Helena Severin, the campaign is lyrical and glamorous, with every detail taken into account. The chandelier hanging above Fox, for example, is not just any chandelier, but an 18th-century crystal antique. Set in different rooms throughout the hôtel particulier, other shots feature furniture and artworks by the likes of Louis Sognot, Ad Reinhardt, Daniel Buren, and Carl Andre, hand-selected by Slimane.

Slimane and Saint Laurent began restoring the label’s two couture ateliers, which are housed on the third and fourth floors of the Hôtel and divided into the “Atelier Flou” for dressmaking and “Atelier Tailleur” for tailoring, in 2012. The new couture collection will be available exclusively via special order, and Slimane will approve each order himself. The lucky few who come away with a piece will be woven recorded in a special Monogram House Couture book and woven into Saint Laurent history. Judging from the campaign, the collection was worth the wait.