Saint Laurent Declares the Return of the Shoulder Pad for Fall/Winter 2023
Do you know why shoulder pads became a thing? In the 1980s, when the trend first emerged, it was the thinking that wide shoulders created the visual illusion of a smaller waist. Dorothy Zbornak would like a word with designers on that point. Looking back on it now, the style looks a bit ridiculous. But what if you took the slight elevation and amplification of a traditional shoulder pad and maximized it? What if the zinging sharpness of a super-sized shoulder pad resulted in something downright elegant? Well, that’s what we have at Saint Laurent Fall/Winter 2023. Anthony Vaccarello’s concentration on distilling elegance for his collection landed him in surprising territory, and what’s even more surprising is how well it worked.
Vacarello loves to stick to a singular silhouette for his collections, and where it was once mini and brief, it is now glamorous and exaggerated. Big-shouldered everything – bombers, blazers, capes, you name it – was paired with knee-length pencil skirts and cigarette pants.
The collection was powerful and focused.
The styling was impeccable; most looks were paired with sunglasses and stilettos, but there were very few bags present in the collection. Instead of a focus on excessive merchandising, Vacarello concentrated on the impact of the overall look. The collection was powerful and focused. Under dramatic chandeliers and across gilded flooring, models stalked slowly, chewing the scenery, letting the moment wash over them. It felt like a fashion celebration rather than a social media spectacle. It was totally fabulous and a breath of fresh air.