With big shake-ups expected on the Paris Fashion Week runways, the Spring/Summer 2017 presentations were off to a heady start with the first hotly anticipated show of the season. Over at Saint Laurent’s new, half-finished headquarters in the 7th arrondissement, all eyes were on Creative Director Anthony Vaccarello. After the tremendous commercial success of his predecessor Hedi Slimane, the audience feverishly awaited Vaccarello’s watershed moment.
Although one expected to see it occur within the collection itself, what really happened was a restoration of house codes – namely “Yves” was back. The auspicious return of the “Y” in “YSL”, which got the boot during Slimane’s tenure, first appeared in the set design with a crane holding a neon “YSL” sign in an ancient courtyard. The “YSL” logo was then cleverly engineered as the supporting structure of a spiked heel – a look that instantly made a splash on social media.
Beyond the return of “Yves” lay a collection that connected to the 1980s club aesthetic that Slimane showed in his final presentation.
Beyond the return of “Yves” lay a collection that connected to the 1980s club aesthetic that Slimane showed in his final presentation, this time done in Vaccarello’s signature brazen designs. Sensuality was ramped into overdrive as he showcased leather mini-dresses with single puff sleeves, sheer chiffon blouses, glittering pasties, leather-corset minis, sculpted velvet tops, cuffed boyfriend jeans, and more. A cropped, glittery ‘Le Smoking’ jacket with an oversized lapel, slim cigarette trousers, and deconstructed blazers spoke to the kind of sharp, menswear tailoring we’ve come to expect from Saint Laurent.
Party clothes were still aplenty, appearing in luxe materials like gold lamé, devoré velvet, tattered lace, molded leather, and melting sequins. Curiously absent from the collection was any form of slit skirt, a house signature under Slimane’s watch. However, it felt like an honest continuation of his work, which signals that Vaccarello was a smart pick for successor – and also bodes well for the brand’s bottom line.