Saint Laurent F/W 2018

The New York Post has a longstanding gossip column by Cindy Adams, which has outlasted every other scoop artist in Gotham. No small feat and one of her favorite lines to close a column is: Only in New York, kids, only in New York. Going to the Saint Laurent show tonight, we thought the same holds true for Paris fashion: Only in Paris, kids, only here. Already for his Summer 2018 collection, Saint Laurent designer Vaccarello had chosen the fountain at Trocadero as his location, which overlooks the Eiffel Tower. It was about a tribute to the then recently deceased Pierre Berge. The coup? The hyper punctual show at 8pm coincided with la Tour Eiffel lit up in pink on the hour – the house’s signature color. Could there be better branding? So why not seize an opportunity like this again? Saint Laurent decided to go back and built a giant custom-made tent on the fountain for their winter 2018 show. The guests were treated to a lavish Eiffel Tower backdrop for the show instead of the normal logo at the end of the runway. Yes, such is the dedication and passion to fashion in Paris that the mayor hands out a permit to pull off stunts like this. All in the name of Paris and fashion. And because Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior, Chanel and many other houses claim the Seine city as their key totem as well, the competition amongst the brands is fierce and we the audience benefit to witness these kinds of production extravaganzas. But stop; let’s talk about the befitting collection now.

(left) Mica Arganaraz wears the closing look: a short embroidered long sleeve dress with big sharp shoulder pats, transparent black stockings and matching plateau boots; (right) a black fur coat above two glitter shirts, one in gold and one embroidered with black paillettes and white kitten motives, a belt, black skinny jeans and matching cowboy boots

What is a Saint Laurent show under Vaccarello?

The designer has gotten used to the idea of showing his collection in two acts like at the theatre. While it was all about black at first, the second half featured vibrant colors. But more importantly, Vaccarello has found a way to differentiate himself by his runway choreography. As we all well remember Helmut Lang and his runways, it is honest to say that a lot of his success was based on his unique use of the catwalk by sending out men and women together following each other. Considering every aspect of a show – sound, location, staging, light etc. – marks a top designer and Vaccarello clearly likes thinking about doing something different.

Back in black: plenty of Anthony Vaccarello’s looks are designed completely in black

Emerging signatures?

Vaccarello loves a woman in a black mini dress. But to make up for lack of design opportunities on that, he is constructing elaborate leather, feather or bow constructions before the bust to elevate his constructions.

Legs for days: Saint Laurent has become a parade of bare legs in the last two years under the creative direction of Anthony Vaccarello

The legs?

Already with his own label and for Versus, Vaccarello was known to cut a mean and sexy dress exposing lots of flesh. At Saint Laurent he is putting a strong focus on legs again, which are always bare with calf high-heeled booties or even fur boots and then paired with some elaborate evening top.

Keep it gangster: who would have thought that rappers are not the only ones who can pull off studded bandanas? The new Saint Laurent woman is daring and challenging the perception of femininity – just like back in the days of Yves Saint Laurent

Headwear?

Alain Delon gangster period hats meaning face-concealing and studded bandanas were the coolest accessories. Also, refreshing to see that Vaccarello does not use his runway to accessorize every look with a bag. It’s about fashion.

Old but gold: Anthony Vaccarello pays tribute to one of Yves Saint Laurent’s most influential designs – the tuxedo

The homage?

In a way all the opening looks in black were a 2018 homage to the tuxedo, a design icon of the house but stretched via his design chops: hence draped column dresses, fur bombers and black leather blazers worn with manly ties.