SAINT LAURENT Store Architectural Concept designed by Hedi Slimane upon his arrival in 2012, the new Saint Laurent store concept is a physical embodiment of the brand’s realigned visual identity. An emphasis on rich, noble materials, generous proportions and architectural clarity as well as a preference for simplicity over elaborate decoration bestows an air of serene, contemporary luxury and evokes the works and philosophies of the Union des Artistes Modernes (UAM).
The new store architecture and design is a modernist transposition of French Art Deco techniques and materials. The predominantly monochrome space exploits slabs of the finest ‘noir soie’ and ‘blanc statuaire’ marble set in opposition to concrete. Silver or gold can be found in 1930’s mirrored vitrines, with nickel-plated and mirror polished brass.
Stark contrasts in mood and atmosphere are created through the employment of dark sensual quilted leather upholstery paired with extra-clear glass and mirrors while suspended hangbars in nickel-plated brass and minimalist podiums or display cases form elegant counterpoints to the flat surfaces. Decoration is derived from the materials themselves. The natural veining in the marble allows the architecture to retain a purity of form and a geometric rigor. The precise mathematical repetition of the clean vertical and horizontal lines of display cases, shelves and strip lighting adds a dramatic visual rhythm to the space.
Craftsmanship is clearly evident throughout. It is superbly detailed in its execution, yet subtle in its expression. Articulated in the language of what may be seen as a modern, 21st Century Art Deco. The Saint Laurent architectural concept is adaptable and specific to individual spaces and cities. The architectural furnishings are therefore supplemented, as in Los Angeles and New York, by vintage furnishings consisting of pieces by Adnet, René Herbst, Breuer, Prouvé, André Sornay and other modernists.