PFW SS20: Saint Laurent by Anthony Vaccarello

ANTHONY Vaccarello, creative director of Saint Laurent since 2016, channels an era of Parisian history where bohemianism, dynamic unconventionality and artistic freedom reigned supreme. Known as the Rive Gauche, this epoch of creative non-conformity is crucial to understanding where Vaccarello hopes to take this latest collection. Blending together traditional masculine and feminine tailoring while revisiting Saint Laurent signature looks and working with what can only be described as model royalty, Vaccarello genius evokes the timeless style of the house’s late founder.

While it has been over a decade since Yves Saint Laurent passed, anyone familiar with the fashion trailblazer would know his spirit was encapsulated to full effect on the illuminated runway framed by the facade of the Eiffel Tower. 

As the spectacle begins, one key thing about Saint Laurent women becomes apparent: they are just so undeniably cool. For this season, shorts are Vaccarellos latest incarnation of cool clothing with models sporting a variety of different styles and fabrics throughout the showcase. Deep green suede, Bermuda cutoffs and cropped short-shorts all made a statement on the catwalk while also taking care to demonstrate the houses sweet spot for mixing femininity and masculinity.

To balance the sharp-short looks, Vaccarello incorporates a string of high leather riding boots, most notably showcased on the catwalk by Kaia Gerber.

With regards to the colour palette and tailoring, SS20 was reminiscent of Saint Laurent’s early years. Sticking close to dark muted colours with hints of golds and bold sharp cuts, the collection maintained that classic punk rock image with a twist of high fashion that YSL is known for. Sheer collared shirts and second skin elasticated pants highlighted a sensuality throughout the collection. In keeping with the bohemian inspiration, models walked in maxi-dresses, often cinched in with a belt and were often accessorised with a bold bandana.

Yves Saint Laurent established a name for himself in his formative designer years by elevating the concept of androgyny to high fashion. The first to tailor the tuxedo blazer and full suit with women in mind, the late designer would have been more than happy to see his classic designs formulate the inspiration for his house’s SS20 collection. Playing with shimmery textures and a variety of fabrics, Vaccarello captures these elements through a modern lens proving he has found a way to revisit the past with the contemporary woman in mind. 

To close a show of such magnitude, Saint Laurent had to have enlisted the help of fashion mogul and close friend of the founder, Naomi Campbell. Rocking a shimmery ink black suit with wide lapels, Campbell was a vision of timeless beauty and style.

by Maria Noyen