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The Spring-Summer 2017 Saint Laurent collection was certainly a finger-tapping moment of anticipation for the French luxury house, as well as for the devoted Saint Laurent following that has been gaining momentum since Hedi Slimane took over creative control in 2013. Anthony Vacarello’s debut collection was in part tethered to the Slimane aesthete, a clear result of the commercial success that the brand has brought to Kering. That said, he turned to the Yves Saint Laurent archive for the first runway look and to offer a taste of the future Saint Laurent brand.
A black minidress with exaggerated shoulders set the precedent of the show. From then on, black completely dominated the collection, with exceptional sparse pops of gold to break up the queue of dark minidresses and sharp tuxedos. Albeit heavily dark designs, Vacarello was not shy in designing a collection clearly tailored for the Saint Laurent girl — one who has little care to sleep early. Asymmetrical dresses, sheer tops, and dropped shoulders brought drama to the presentation. Model Binx Walton flaunted a striking asymmetrical dress, bearing all if not for a small crystal heart on her breast.
The tuxedo was reinterpreted numerous times in the collection, the formality of which was only brought down slightly by pairs of interspersed blue boyfriend jeans. The tailoring of Vacarello’s le smoking, strayed from Slimane’s interpretation of razor-sharp suiting only imaginable on a rockstar. Instead, Vacarello spurred interest through sleeveless jackets, wide lapels, and unrefined edges. Proportions were quirky, and shoulders and sleeves were sewn without rules. An intertwining YSL logo heel brought the 80’s back to life and will undoubtedly be a hit.
Perhaps one of the best and most admirable features of Vacarello’s show were the models, several of which were his past muses. The diversity of the cast was shocking and beautiful– a strong statement from a traditional French house. Among them, a sole male model strode down the runway in a sheer button-down with billowy sleeves, surely peaking the interest of the cult-like Saint Laurent menswear following. Vacarello will face the challenge of venturing into menswear for the first time for a brand that has uniquely relied heavily on men’s sales– a test only time will tell. Spring-Summer 2017 was a Saint Laurent transition. As he builds his vision and his connection to the Saint Laurent girl, Vacarello’s true reveal will be in the seasons to come.
WRITTEN BY HOLLIS DE LANEY
PHOTO CREDIT: SAINT LAURENT