The 80’s kick continues with Anthony Vaccarello at Saint Laurent, but this time we got a little treat with a light show like a walking version of Burning Man. But was it as delightful? Since his takeover, I’ve been hot and cold with the brand, afterall.
It was the over-exaggerated shoulder that Vaccarello focused on this time, with jackets shrugging up – sometimes to chin height- in burly hunches that jutted straight out in tailored coats and tuxedo-style jackets. And the menswear this season? Normal shoulders, mostly. The coating and jackets hung over silky black tapered trousers and plunge-neck jumpsuits.
Yet there was also a juxtaposition with this gender play via high-waisted micro shorts in sumptuous textures, often paired with the usual fare of breezy sheer tops hiding below intricately beaded blazers and bombers. There were two stand out looks with cut outs along the sides and waist to create severe V-shaped armor-style bodices, This is Saint Laurent elevated compared to recent seasons. Vaccarello is stepping up his technical game.
Pencil skirts were rowdy in black leather and animal print, with wide swaths of cropped feathers at the bottom. The mini dresses were probably his best yet, trussed with full velvet bows, or carved to precision along the neckline, creating wave and heart shapes. And be still my heart, that man put a tulle ballet skirt that cascades out and around the body like an old school Himalaya musical car ride at a carnival. I’m suddenly warming up quite a bit to the new Saint Laurent minis. The Saint Laurent everything, really.
For the final looks of the show, the black light turned on, and the looks went neon glow. Oversized barber stripe coats a la Betty Catroux as well as feathered, sparkled, tiger striped and zomg day-glo minis that will make your eyes bleed if you continue to stare beyond 10 seconds. Some of this was amazing (re: wafting striped feathers on mini dress and striped coat), while other looks just felt too gimmicky (like the white coat with triple black poms, appearing like a circus motif).
Still, all in all I think this was Vaccarello’s best collection since taking over. But note to Saint Laurent: It didn’t go unnoticed that you hired unhealthy looking models, encouraging the continuation of the expectation that models starve themselves to dangerous levels to get hired in Paris. Make the change. Be humane.
– See other Saint Laurent season reviews. –