Saint Laurent Rive Droite

The place where the Colette once used to be, now is the location for Saint Laurent Rive Droite. Thought up as a retail destination, it’s the concept store curated by Saint Laurent’s creative director Anthony Vaccarello. The Rive Droite name takes its inspiration from Saint Laurent’s Rive Gauche, the line that introduced Yves’s unique way of combining prêt-à-porter and luxury fashion with the opening of his first boutique in Paris back in 1966. The store space is built around the idea of a cultural experience, showcased through different events such as exhibitions, performances and artistic exchanges. The products on sale are also exclusive to the space, offering rare books, vintage record players, condoms, skate-boards and toy cars. I went there to see what all the buzz is about. It’s a chic store, filled with French design classics and gorgeous clothes, that’s for sure. But then, it feels like another YSL store. So when I read that “it’s better than Colette”… well, it’s definitely not.

213 rue saint Honoré

All photos by Edward Kanarecki.

(P.S. If you are inspired by my Parisian coverage, I’m really happy about, but please have in mind that now isn’t a safe time for any sorts of travelling. Stay at home!)

Betty Catroux at Musée YSL

When walking down the streets of Paris, you just can’t miss the street posters promoting the current exhibition at Musée Yves Saint Laurent. A naked woman sits on a sofa, with her icy blonde hair and big sunglasses. It’s of course the iconic Betty Catroux. In 2020, the YSL museum is devoting a special exhibition to Catroux, the one and only Saint Laurent “female double.” The pieces displayed in the exhibition come from a major donation Betty Catroux has made to the Fondation Pierre Bergé – Yves Saint Laurent back in 2002. The museum gave Anthony Vaccarello (Saint Laurent’s creative director) carte blanche for curating this event. The designer approached Betty Catroux’s wardrobe from an aesthetic perspective by selecting the pieces that best reveal her unique personality and ongoing influence on the label’s signature style. “She lives and breathes Saint Laurent. An allure, a mystery, an almost nefarious aspect, an elusive yet desirable nature, all that underlies the house’s aura, and you understand the magnitude of it when you meet Betty.” That elusive aura is perceivable all over the space. Approximately fifty designs show the extent to which Betty Catroux embodied Yves Saint Laurent’s physical ideal and an attitude echoing the “masculine/feminine style” that he was developing when they first met at the nightclub The New Jimmy’s in 1967. Yves immediately fell in love with her androgynous look, which was radically different from the usual codes of femininity and seductiveness and remains the subject of ongoing fascination. Below are some photos I took during my visit. To read more about the museum, here’s the post I wrote about the place when I was here about a year ago.

All photos by Edward Kanarecki.

(P.S. If you are inspired by my Parisian coverage, I’m really happy about, but please have in mind that now isn’t a safe time for any sorts of travelling. Stay at home!)

Power. Saint Laurent AW20

Here’s one of the most brilliant collections coming from Anthony Vaccarello for Saint Laurent. There was power, there was vibrance, there was colour – something I missed or didn’t really feel in his last collections. And, it didn’t look like Hedi Slimane’s Celine. The opening look laid bare exactly what he was thinking of for the season: an haute bourgeois red tartan double-breasted blazer, gilt-buttoned, velvet-collared, atop a matching jabot neckline blouse, hair swept back, substantial gold and jet earrings, and… black latex trousers. And there was plenty more of tailoring: exquisite jackets, impeccably cut, double-breasted, many with those same gilded buttons, in ochre cashmere, pearly gray flannel, jaunty navy wool, natty brown houndstooth – and all worn with those same dominatix, all-gloss pants. What was new and completely refreshing was the way Vaccarello chose to riff on the lush sensuality that Monsieur Saint Laurent was such a master of. And what else was new, yet very Yves: the uninhibited sense of color, with Vaccarello working his way through the classic YSL palette – fuchsia to purple to emerald to hot pink – and showcasing it his own way through that extremely non-classic latex. But when styled with YSL’s Le Scandale-inspired fur coats, it all made even more sense. Backstage, Vaccarello acknowledged the #MeToo climate, and spoke of celebrating a woman’s power and her own sense of self. Ever since his arrival at Saint Laurent, Vaccarello has endorsed a woman’s right to express her own physicality, and her sexuality, any way she wants.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.