The Saint Laurent Spring/Summer 2024 collection steers the house in a more minimalist direction while respecting long-held house codes.
The formula for Saint Laurent's success is the repetition of really good ideas, rendered really well in each variation. For Spring/Summer 2024, the idea was inspired by Amelia Earhart and Adrienne Bolland, who both flew into the male-dominated field of aviation and took the crown in the late 1930s. It also made me think of another late-30s adventurer, Karen Blixen, who lived an extraordinary life in Africa and whose experiences in Kenya (spent mostly on her own or in severe pain from later-in-life illness) led to the authorship of such books as Out of Africa and Shadows on the Grass. She even has a Nairobi suburb named after her.
The return of the iconic Yves Saint Laurent-designed ‘Saharienne’ safari jacket, inspired by his time living in North Africa, became a sigil around which the idea of subverting traditionally masculine codes gathered in the 1960s and early 1970s. Like the gender role-smashing idea of the Saharienne or Le Smoking, the women conjured by this collection defied society to live on their own terms.
This time around, Anthony Vacarello stripped things back. He adjusted the Saharienne by eliminating its criss-cross laces, he proffered a dozen or so jumpsuits in simple cotton, he paired extremely-bonkers-amazing cargo pants with simple sheer tops, and showed a few mousseline dresses. But the devil is in the details. While clothes might have taken a turn for the utilitarian, they were teamed with wonderful accessories, like oversized, sculptural earrings, razor-sharp sunglasses, and gold-tipped leather belts. The collection also bore the interesting proposition of mixing your leathers, as was the case with a sublime white jumpsuit (Look 26) that came paired with oxblood gloves, a tobacco leather belt, and glossy black pumps.
The formula for Saint Laurent's SUCCESS is the repetition of really good ideas, rendered really well in each variation.