Saint Laurent: how the course became an improbable post-pandemic flex
“A fantasy about a dark Victorian romance,” is how Saint Laurent creative director Anthony Vaccarello described his spring 2022 runway show in Venice on Wednesday night: a display of oversized poet shirts, batwing tops, fancy jackets, little shorts and … capes. .
Cloaks have emerged as an unlikely – or likely, post-pandemic flex, depending on the decadence of those around you – in the fashion world. They appeared at the Balenciaga couture show last week and Hedi Slimane’s Celine fall 2021 show in February, and Vaccarello showed them off with vampiric Pete Doherty-esque campness, like huge silk blouses on the floor, buttoned up or tied only at the neck. . (It was also reminiscent of a classic saffron cape by Saint Laurent, from one of the designer’s quintessentially lavish early 1980s collections.)
Why the cape? Perhaps because it echoes the post-WWII fervor for extravagant reams of fabric, embodied by Christian Dior’s New Look, which journalists and trend forecasters have often cited in their predictions. for post-pandemic dressing. But unlike the conservative ideals that underpin Dior’s opulence, the new cape is sexy, exuberant, and a bit dangerous. Vaccarello became something like the Dark Lord of gender fluidity among fashion’s most pop ensembles, making the kind of wearable devilish clothes that could be worn by Chuck Bass’s successor on the Gossip Girl reboot – you can just imagine him shooting a Juul and tugging at its stretch of silk with a gloved hand, right?
Held in Venice, the Saint Laurent fashion show was one of the first in-person menswear shows since the fashion world went abruptly digital at the start of the pandemic, but was also a throwback to the globe-parades. Trotters of yesteryear, organized in a glamorous and distant way. threw places beyond basic fashion capitals. The set was a large-scale installation by California artist Doug Atkins – a mirrored kaleidoscopic structure dotted with dense plantings through which Vaccarello’s little vampires wandered. Venice has become the must-see site for the season’s catwalks: Rick Owens has paraded there this year (his third in the city), while Valentino will present his haute couture fashion show there on Thursday. And for Saint Laurent, it was a fitting choice: Vaccarello’s clothes are a uniform for the elite youngsters most disappointed with the inability to travel – you know, those who jump from Coachella to Tulum to Mykonos – and her tall statement tops and warm jerseys are the right kind of edgy fashion that every shopper is looking for right now. It is not political; it is not responsible for messaging. He works on this classic emotion at the heart of fashion: desire. And for the fashion nerds among us, the peasant blouses will be the occasion for Yves-cosplay—mostly for those traveling from Mykonos to Marakkech, where Saint Laurent himself wore some of his most important blouses.
Already, the series ‘ultra-pointy winklepicker boots, the medieval-inspired shoe of choice for 1950s British rock’ n roll fans, have been divisive online. But nothing in fashion is softer than a shoe that divides. Unlike everything you hear about people who want to dress to fit in, everyone likes something a little bit fake. This is usually a sign of great success to come.
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