I’ve Seen You Before. Saint Laurent Pre-Fall 2019

Looking at Anthony Vaccarello‘s Saint Laurent through a prism of his delightful campaigns (Juergen Teller’s spring-summer ad shot around Como and the recent Keanu Reeves spread are highlights), his girls gang (Charlotte Gainsbourg, Anja Rubik, Zoë Kravitz, Kate Moss, Mica Arganaraz, need more?) and art projects (production of Gaspar Noé’s latest film that premiered in Cannes, Lux Aeterna, starring Gainsbourg, Beatrice Dalle and Vaccarello’s model muses) and spectacular fashion show venues, you really feel like his work is… major. And, it does sell very well. But since Hedi Slimane is back in fashion with his Celine, you just can’t help but think: I’ve seen that face before. And while the new Celine aggressively hits the stores, and most of the clothes look identical to Vaccarello’s Saint Laurent (crucial note: YSL was actually defibrillated by Slimane some years ago with his slim look aesthetic, new branding and white marble floors), there’s a tension growing on. Do we really need two brands doing the same mini-dresses, boyish tuxedos and traumatically size 0 apparel? Moreover, both designers reintepret their maisons codes for the contemporary times: Anthony keeps on squeezing out Yves’ legendary Le Scandale collection, while Hedi goes for bringing back the old, very old bourgeois style of pre-pre-pre-Phoebe-Philo-era Celine. But somehow, the results are too similar. One thing’s sure: Hedi was first in the game. Still, fashion forgets quickly. Time will show who wins. Or maybe there will be enough customers to push both brands’ turnovers?

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

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