Do not go gentle
Black is the new black, but this time it’s shiny, sculptured and very sexy
Anthony Vaccarello’s sophomore season for Saint Laurent is full of high-octane moments, achieved by bold shapes, high-rise hemlines and a mix of textures hard and soft. And no single material encapsulates the signature Saint Laurent drama better than patent leather in all its glossy glory. The house of Saint Laurent and patent leather have a literally storied past, ever since Catherine Deneuve went from bored housewife to afternoon dominatrix in the flick of an Yves Saint Laurent patent leather trench coat in the 1967 classic Belle de Jour.
For Autumn/Winter 2017, Vaccarello deployed the high-shine leather in classic black or deep ocean blue across fluid jackets that gathered gently at the waist or puckered in lines of ruching, and dresses that softly wrapped the shoulders. Trousers that were tapered but not skintight were crushed and crumpled to show the gloss of the leather and narrow miniskirts covered in clouds of pleats were paired with soft, draped knits. This patent
leather is shiny but not stiff, structured but not constricting – folded into tucks and ruffles, the material is surprisingly malleable but still unshakeably sexy.
For those unmoved by the idea of wrapping up in leather, glossy accessories are the answer. Look to sharp, thigh-high boots in varnished black, or strappy, sexy stiletto heels charmingly topped with slightly crumpled black roses to add a shiny contrast to your look. Or throw on a heart-shaped box clutch strung on a long, long chain, or a soft, squashy backpack quilted into soft, squashy lines. As demonstrated on the runway, patent leather can be paired with anything: try layers of black in contrasting textures, like a tissue-thin T-shirt or slinky, silky blouse. But our favourite looks combine patent with everyday uniform items. Take old, relaxed denim and slouchy knitwear, and add a flash of patent leather for a sly, shiny shot of subversion.
Backpack, RM7,590, Saint Laurent
Heels, RM9,130, Saint Laurent