Saint Laurent S/S 2020 Paris Fashion Week Women’s
Scene setting: Under the direction of Anthony Vaccarello, the Saint Laurent show has morphed from a closed-doors affair to something of a symbol of France’s power and might in the fashion industry. But nobody could deny the maison’s shows, staged in the open on the Fontaine du Trocadéro, just in front of a glittering Tour Eiffel, make perfect sense. After all, who has better embodied the values of true Parisian chic than Yves Saint Laurent? Vaccarello knows this, but he also knows the value of a good show (and one that is somewhat accessible to passersby, who invariably gather outside to watch the models strutting down the catwalk). This time, the brand came up with the idea of a moving lights show that framed each model as she walked by. And yet, once the show opened, it became clear that the real focus would be on the clothes.
Moodboard: If the show opened on classic Vaccarello grounds (all black, ultra sexy, short shorts galore), the shift focused to gradually reveal the real theme of the collection: an hommage to Yves Saint Laurent’s 1976 Ballets Russes collection. That year marked a turning point for the French designer, whose elevated hippy bohemian look would soon become synonym with Parisian elegance in the collective imaginary. Vaccarello revived those styles, unapologetically dressing his models in vaporous dresses, metallic jacquards, golden lamé (and golden boots!) and velvet. It was a delicious excess manifesto and, most importantly, it was offering women something that hasn’t been widely available for quite some time. But his homage to Saint Laurent didn’t end there. After a dramatic pause, a series of black tuxedoes worn, among others, by Stella Tennant and Naomi Campbell, played with the codes of Le Smoking. A real tour de force, as the French would say.
Finishing touches: A collection as rich as this would have been spoiled by too much styling and accessories, and Anthony Vaccarello knew where to restrain and where to go all out. However, two accessories caught the public’s attention: Betty Catroux-inspired oversized sunglasses where everywhere, a stark contrast to the current ever-shrinking sunglass trend (it is worth noting that the real Betty Catroux was front row, clad in sunglasses herself). And headscarves were also ubiquitous, a very Loulou de la Falaise detail that was irresistibly enticing. §
Paris Womenswear S/S 2020 Shows