Between Morocco and California. Saint Laurent Resort 2020

The theme behind Anthony Vaccarello‘s resort 2020 line-up for Saint Laurent is parallel to his spring-summer menswear show staged on one of Malibu’s beaches. For both, Vaccarello had been thinking about how Morocco’s glittering hippie/boho enclaves of the late ’60s and early ’70s (distinctly Yves) are mirrored by the today’s free-spirited California. So, a black velvet smoking jacket, worn with a long black leather skirt with a fastening running down its front; a gold sequin lace camisole with white jeans; a pleated lurex skirt styled with boots, a barely-there tank-top and a big, heavy pendant… in terms of fashion, there’s nothing innovative (or even fresh) in Vaccarello’s “day-to-day” vision of a wardrobe. It nods to Yves’ eternal chic, yes, feels very California, yes, but in the end it still  looks like Hedi Slimane’s work for the house from the (not so distant) past. Really, how do clients choose between a denim, maxi-lenght skirt from Slimane’s Celine offering, and a nearly identical one with a Saint Laurent tag?

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Predictable Chic. Saint Laurent SS20

Twinkling Tour Eiffel as the show’s backdrop? Incredible. Sebastian’s banging soundtrack? Wow. Naomi Campbell closing the show? Yay. And the clothes? Well, that’s the problem with Anthony Vaccarello‘s Saint Laurent from time to time. His spring-summer 2020 might have amazed with all the features, but in the end the clothes are the least exciting. Up to 100 looks, and most of them are either about short shorts and boots, or Yves’s iconic le smoking. Of course, the Loulou de la Falaise touches, nods to the ‘Russian’ collection from 1976 and forever chic YSL codes never get old, but Vaccarello’s result was, simply speaking, monotonous. And very predictable. But hey, that’s what Saint Laurent customers love and buy today. So why not give them what they want?

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

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.