What An­thony Vac­carello Is Think­ing

Is the quiet but provoca­tive young de­signer fash­ion’s new heir ap­par­ent? By Alexandra Mar­shall. Pho­tographed by Driu Crilly and Ti­ago Mar­tel.

Harper’s Bazaar (Malaysia) - - Contents -

An­thony Vac­carello sits in a lo­cal, mildly jazzed up café on an unglam­orous boule­vard in the 10th Ar­rondisse­ment of Paris. It’s the af­ter­noon af­ter his Au­tumn ’16 show in March, and he’s the def­i­ni­tion of un­per­turbed. Last night’s show of his sig­na­ture line, An­thony Vac­carello, all lace-up minis and corset de­tail­ing, was his best ever at­tended, and Ver­sus Ver­sace, where he dou­ble-timed as creative di­rec­tor till last April, was on an ex­pan­sion tear dur­ing his helm, with new stores in New York, Lon­don, and Paris. Vac­carello is res­o­lutely low-key about seem­ingly ev­ery­thing, which is the se­cret to his san­ity and part of his charm. “It’s like he’s not aware of his suc­cess,” says his friend and muse, Anja Ru­bik, who boosted Vac­carello’s name when she wore his slashed-to-the-hip ivory silk gown to 2012’s Met Gala. (She was also kicked off In­sta­gram for try­ing to #freethenip­ple in one of his slinky, trans­par­ent black tops.) “It’s al­most like he doesn’t want to ad­just to the times we’re liv­ing in now and turn him­self into a huge per­son­al­ity,” she con­tin­ues. “He knows his work is the most im­por­tant part and it should speak for it­self.”

Even though his clothes make bold and sexy state­ments, Vac­carello him­self takes a very dif­fer­ent ap­proach with his busi­ness. “I work Mon­day to Sun­day,” he ex­plains. “My ate­lier is three floors down from my apart­ment.” You will rarely, if ever, see him on the party pages. “I go home af­ter work! And I don’t think de­sign­ers have to be so over­ex­posed. I’m not into self­ies. I don’t care!” Al­though Gisele Bünd­chen and Char­lotte Gains­bourg are fans, Vac­carello winces at the thought of loan­ing to celebri­ties. “Ev­ery­one knows now that celebri­ties are paid to wear things, and I hate that. When I was a teenager, I was so im­pressed by peo­ple like Madonna wear­ing Jean Paul Gaultier, but it’s not like that any­more. If I do dress some­one, I want to be sure she re­ally sup­ports me and wants to be part of my uni­verse. But I don’t even think my dresses are for the red car­pet, which is about Chan­tilly and colours and big skirts right now.”

The fash­ion in­dus­try to­day is ar­riv­ing at a forked path. Some are rush­ing to em­brace the dig­i­tal present: De­signer brands like Burberry and Diane von Fursten­berg are sell­ing direct from the run­way, while other houses add ever more lines and shows. The road less trav­elled, though, is emerg­ing as a re­spectable one. Azze­dine Alaïa, one of Vac­carello’s he­roes, is the sherpa here, as are Hel­mut Lang and Hedi Sli­mane. This isn’t a bad thing, as burned-out cre­atives will at­test. But com­plain­ing about the work­load is not Vac­carello’s style. “To be hon­est, I don’t un­der­stand the burnout,” he says. “It’s not that com­pli­cated. I’m not do­ing it all by my­self. I have a team at my com­pany, so I don’t get why there’s such pres­sure.” For him, brands con­stantly launch­ing new tricks feels a lit­tle des­per­ate. “We have to take a break and stop run­ning af­ter the cus­tomer. Lux­ury has to be slower. If we try to keep up with the faster out­side world, we die. When brands try too hard to sell 10 mil­lion coats, you don’t want to keep buy­ing. It’s about de­sire and cre­at­ing de­sire. We need to dream, but we don’t need an­other shirt.”

Over the years, Vac­carello has re­turned again and again to se­lect mo­tifs: slits, sharp tai­lor­ing, legs, pieced-to­gether con­struc­tion, re­veal­ing drap­ing, black, leather. This has earned him crit­i­cism from some quar­ters, but he’s def­i­nitely not bored with the pos­si­bil­i­ties of gabar­dine and cash­mere. “With Ver­sus, I tried to put house codes on clas­sic, recog­nis­able gar­ments, while for my brand it’s more like an ate­lier, search­ing for new vol­ume, like a lab­o­ra­tory for me. I’m more in­ter­ested than ever in clas­sic fab­rics—real wool, real cash­mere. If I ever run out of things to do with them, I sup­pose I’ll stop de­sign­ing and say, ‘No, thank you.’”

Swirling ru­mours of Vac­carello suc­ceed­ing Sli­mane at Saint Lau­rent were con­firmed in April when he was an­nounced creative di­rec­tor of the French fash­ion house, but Vac­carello is still un­trou­bled by out­size am­bi­tions. He is not in­ter­ested in de­vel­op­ing a per­fume or his own re­tail con­cept. “Peo­ple buy so much on­line, I feel like a store is not that im­por­tant. I’ve never planned any­thing in my ca­reer; I’ve al­ways just taken things as they come.” It is clear that no mat­ter what hap­pens, he won’t be mak­ing much noise about it.

“I don’t think de­sign­ers have to be so over­ex­posed.” – An­thony Vac­carello

Cloth­ing; and ac­ces­sories (worn through­out), all from An­thony Vac­carello.

Vac­carello with his muse and friend, model Anya Ru­bik

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malaysia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.