Bright lights, black leather

And crys­tals, ev­ery­where. Get ready for a sea­son of sen­su­al­ity

ELLE (Malaysia) - - CONTENTS -

The story be­hind the new Saint Lau­rent sea­son

The an­tic­i­pa­tion sur­round­ing An­thony Vac­carello’s sec­ond col­lec­tion for Saint Lau­rent was in­tense. If ex­pec­ta­tions for his first col­lec­tion were high, they now came weighted with the hope that Vac­carello would sur­pass that de­but with a show that was new and zeit­geisty but also in line with the Saint Lau­rent house codes. Some­thing fresh, but also fa­mil­iar. Some­thing that chal­lenged but also paid trib­ute to the mai­son.

Some­thing im­pos­si­ble, in other words – ex­cept Vac­carello had al­ready pulled off an im­pos­si­ble stunt once. Could he do it again?

The buzz came to a head at Mai­son Saint Lau­rent on Paris’s Rue de Bel­lechasse, which would once again serve as the show venue for the Au­tumn/Win­ter 2017 col­lec­tion. And once again, it was still un­der con­struc­tion, but a com­bi­na­tion of ex­tremely loud mu­sic and a dizzy­ing amount of hype trans­formed the raw area into a mag­netic, en­er­getic show space. Once the first model walked out, in a glossy, strong-shoul­dered black leather jacket, rum­pled, pointy-toed, knee-high boots and a de­mure flash of eye­lash lace skim­ming the thighs, ev­ery­one in at­ten­dance knew: the game was back on.

Sly sub­ver­sion was al­ways one of Yves Saint Lau­rent’s hall­marks, and one that has stayed with ev­ery cre­ative di­rec­tor of the house since. Across the decades this has trans­muted into a non­cha­lant rock ‘n’ roll sex­i­ness, one that now eas­ily equates to black leather and plung­ing neck­lines, an­kle-break­ing stiletto heels and slashes of black eye­liner. “I love Mon­sieur Saint Lau­rent’s sub­ver­sive ap­proach to clothes, his dark ro­man­ti­cism with a hint of per­ver­sity,” Vac­carello ex­plained in his show notes. “I wanted this col­lec­tion to be like a re-read­ing, a radical fan­tasy of this her­itage.” To that end, Vac­carello turned the house’s cul­ture of sub­ver­sion on its head – di­alling down the in-your-face sex­i­ness,

tem­per­ing it with real-world tex­tures, throw­ing jack­ets over bare shoul­ders and re­plac­ing corsetry with gen­tly gath­ered waist­lines.

There was black leather, of course, but with a fresh new coun­ter­point in the form of a warm, cognac brown leather. This shade was de­ployed across dresses, skirts and the afore­men­tioned jack­ets – al­ways gath­ered or ruched in soft rip­ples, whether in a dra­matic shoul­der ruff, in too-long sleeves that were pushed up at the wrist, or in one the­atri­cal case, a full-length glove that en­cased the arm and ex­ploded in a shear­ling-lined plume at the shoul­der. And the shots of colour, though rare, were striking: soft white mo­hair sweaters, deep teal fans of crepe and satin, me­tal­lic waves of elec­tric blue and fi­nally a quar­tet of in­tensely sparkling, crystal-cov­ered pieces: cable-knit sweaters that from a dis­tance looked like snake­skin dipped in sil­ver, and slinky dresses that shone fiercely un­der the flood­lights.

But if you’re wor­ried about a po­ten­tial lack of black, don’t be. This was still a col­lec­tion grounded in black, but in tex­tures – var­nished leather, deep vel­vet, tis­sue-like gauze, sheeny satin, pa­tent shine and sheer lace. And at the end of the day, it was An­thony Vac­carello do­ing a Saint Lau­rent show, so all the sweaters in the world couldn’t mute the sen­su­al­ity: nip­ples peeked through sheer shirts, hem­lines grazed the tops of thighs, zips ran the en­tire length of minier-than-mini dresses. Vac­carello showed Saint Lau­rent fans and crit­ics that there’s more than one way to be sexy, but it usu­ally in­volves leather.

Sly sub­ver­sion was al­ways one of Yves Saint Lau­rent’s hall­marks, and one that has stayed with ev­ery cre­ative di­rec­tor of the house since.

The A/W ’17 show took place in the still-un­fin­ished Saint Lau­rent head­quar­ters

Warm brown shades of leather were just as prom­i­nent as black Colours took the form of jewel toned greens and blues

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