During Hedi Slimane’s disruptive but profitable tenure at Saint Laurent, his 360-degree redesign of the legendary French luxury brand included a complete overhaul of the house’s new couture atelier, Hôtel de Sénecterre, a rebranding of its stores, logos, and overall aesthetic, and – most notably – the removal of “Yves” from the Saint Laurent handle. If you were on team “Ain’t Laurent Without Yves”, you might have forgiven Slimane’s shift toward a sleeker, more rock ‘n’ roll aesthetic but not his seeming dismissal of the house founder.
Today, a new era has dawned at Saint Laurent, with Anthony Vaccarello at the helm. At his debut Spring/Summer 2017 show, both logo-fied and luminous neon signposts were tangible signs that Vaccarello intended to honor the heritage of his new inheritance. The scene at Paris Fashion Week was bathed in the glow of radiant blue letters that spelled out the classic YSL ‘Cassandre’ logo, while other archival clues appeared on the runway. For a breakdown of all the ways Vaccarello is bringing “Yves” back to Yves Saint Laurent, browse through the gallery below.
The ‘Opyum’ crocodile-textured cuff was manufactured in the same factory where Yves Saint Laurent manufactured his jewelry collection in the 1980s.
Yves Saint Laurent’s entourage included dozens of glamorous, independent women – notably Bianca Jagger and Loulou de la Falaise – who acted as both muses and lifelong friends. Vaccarello honors YSL’s love of independent women with this deconstructed YSL logo earpiece, which allows a woman to wear the letters as she pleases, expressing her own individuality.
One of the most memorable moments of Vaccarello’s Spring/Summer 2017 show was when these amazing YSL logo pumps first came down the runway. Not only were they instantly Insta-famous, but they are now one of the most popular items from the entire collection. With these pumps, Vaccarello sent a clear signal that “Yves” was back in the equation.
Heart shapes are an oft-repeated motif in the Yves Saint Laurent lexicon – a fact honored by Vaccarello’s new heart-shaped box bags and bijoux-diamond jewelry pieces.
As much as Yves Saint Laurent’s brand and the city of Paris are inextricably linked, so are the designer and the Moroccan city of Marrakech. He kept a second home there at Jardin Majorelle, and his passion for the city appeared often throughout his collections. In homage to his predecessor, Vaccarello placed his own spin on Moroccan tapestries by turning them into plush bomber jackets (pictured right) and bucket bags.
Different variations of Yves Saint Laurent’s ‘Love’ prints, which the designer created and distributed to loved ones for 30 years, were reinvented for Spring/Summer 2017. The vibrant print appeared in Vaccarello’s collection on denim jackets, bombers, and button-ups (pictured right).
The classic YSL logo – nicknamed the ‘Cassandre’ logo – first debuted in 1961 and was created by a Ukrainian-French poster artist named Adolphe Mouron Cassandre. At Saint Laurent Spring/Summer 2017, the audience entered a half-finished courtyard where a giant crane held aloft a vintage YSL neon sign, which Vaccarello had dug out of storage to resurrect for his first show at the brand. The ‘Cassandre’ logo is back and larger than life.
Loulou de la Falaise (pictured left), Yves Saint Laurent’s best friend and muse, earned a spot in Vaccarello’s lineup when he named dangling, tassel earrings after her (pictured right). The history lesson is spot on: Saint Laurent designed Falaise’s wedding look, which included dozens of red tassels.