Men’s – Malibu. Saint Laurent SS20

Like other fashion shows presented in far flung destinations this month, Saint Laurent‘s spring-summer 2020 collection for the boys (and resort 2020 for the girls) had its ups and downs. Ups: the runway’s spectacular venue, which was an ebonized boardwalk runway atop a Malibu beach, against a stormy horizon. Keanu Reeves sat front row. Anthony Vaccarello‘s ideology behind the collection, which well related to Yves Saint Laurent. The starting point for the collection was Marrakech in the ’70s (Yves’ ultimate favourite place to visit) reimagined as 21st-century Los Angeles, a city that resides on Vaccarello’s own emotional landscape. While that’s some geographical leap, it’s not an unimaginable one; both locations have that certain bohemian, free-spirited, almost mystical escape. “You come to L.A. for vacation,” Vaccarello said. “You can disconnect from the rest of the world.” And finally, Mick Jagger. The Rolling Stones musician gave Vaccarello access to his vintage Saint Laurent, for inspiration. Yes, it all sounds dreamy. But again, the problem of clothes hits – they seem to lose their priority in such events. Except for the abrupt comeback of super-wide, super-fluid pants (in gauzy knit or a crushed pleated silk), billowing and flowing from a high and often belted waist, there was barely anything exciting about this rock & roll-ish wardrobe. It all was a remake of Hedi Slimane-era YSL. And I guess you really need that Malibu heat to grasp the essence of this collection, and not only the imagery.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Hot. Saint Laurent AW19

Is there any sense in searching for a smarter word than ‘hot’, when talking of Anthony Vaccarello‘s autumn-winter 2019 collection for Saint Laurent? Well. It was hot! But not dumb hot. Rather, confident hot. The best look? A broad-shouldered, wool coat with big shoulder pads, on a matchingly blond girl who looked very much like Yves Saint Laurent’s ultimate muse: Betty Catroux. Then, we’ve had clothes that looked like taken out of wardrobes of female spies that kick asses during Cold War thrillers. Dramatic mini-dresses inspired with Yves’ haute couture “Scandal” collection from 1971 and le smokings converted into gowns – gorgeous. The part that could have been omitted? The glowing-in-dark dresses at the end – they kind of undermined the cool, sharp assertiveness of this show. It felt as if Vaccarello and the brand wanted to generate even more Insta-content… but do we really need more? The tailoring was strong enough. And the Catroux coat, of course.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Down The Boulevard. Saint Laurent SS19

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Saint Laurent by Anthony Vaccarello. This season, it dangerously reminded you of Hedi Slimane’s YSL era, though – that LA, grungy-sultry look highlighted with extreme platform heels and lots of body exposure. Even the fake white palms standing in front of the water-filled runway (with a view at Eiffel Tower, of course) had a lot to say about Vaccarello’s current, American obsession. But other than the Hedi looks, we had a nearly all-black line-up, featuring completely sheer dresses and bathing suits. The leopard spots were very Yves as well, but made you think of another designer-predecessor of Vaccarello – Tom Ford. Where’s Anthony in all that? Well, his aesthetic is the love child of all Saint Laurent designers, whether you like it or not. Personally, I wasn’t thrilled with the collection, at all.

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Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Party Girl. Saint Laurent Pre-Fall 2018

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She’s a party girl – that’s quite clear once you look at Anthony Vaccarello‘s pre-fall 2018 look-book for Saint Laurent, and the attitude of the woman he envisions. That transitional wardrobe is meant to be classically YSL, but suited for contemporary times. We’ve got bohemian blouses, velvet Le Smoking blazers, leopard spots all over platform boots, studded leather miniskirts, gold lamé minidress – the list goes on. With the ‘Mick Jagger in Morocco’ look, wearing non-chalantly tied shawls and embroidered vests, Mica Arganaraz and Jamie Bochert are like a match-made-in-heaven for this look-book.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.