Saint Laurent: now that’s what you call a major runway show
A homage to Yves Saint Laurent and also to fashion business legend Pierre Bergé. A bold, super sexy collection and a giant, flabbergasting set built on the banks of the Seine and illuminated by the Eiffel Tower.
A show crammed full of “clin d’oeils,” as the French call them, witty and insider visual puns that referenced famous looks and outfits by Monsieur Saint Laurent himself. Though very much rarified through the thought process of Anthony Vaccarello, the house’s current creative director.
So, his opening scissor-sharp blazers came with contrasting silver piping, beige gypsy blouse and combat shorts. Vaccarello sent out Pirates blouses, with humungous sleeves and worn open to the belly button; plastered mid-length jackets with enough baubles, jewels and crystals that they looked like they had their own generator.
He played on Yves’ famed Tuxedo cocktails, dissecting them with huge golden patent leather bows and dazzled the audience with abstract metallic jacquard short frocks. Every model looked like they were going onto a Red Carpet or coming back from an after-party. As did the score of men’s looked he showed in a mass collection totaling 91 passages.
The legs had it in this show – rarely has so much flesh been shown in a Paris show. Most notably at the finale. First with mini shirt-dresses paired with Yeti fur thigh boots, which Vaccarello called “today’s new diamonds.”
After a half-dozen barely there naughty Victorian see-through blouses, Vaccarello wowed with over a dozen of voluminous bouffant cocktails, that ending at the hip and exploded above into car crash fantasies or feather boa caprices. Another clear reference to a Saint Laurent classic.
“Yes, of course, I was thinking of Pierre. Of him and Yves as a crazy couple. Un amour fou. I wanted to show off the house’s atelier, this amazing resource they have left. No real theme, just telling the story of Paris and Yves Saint Laurent, and enjoying making clothes with people who love making them,” said Vaccarello in the post-show darkness.
“I want the Saint Laurent girl to have fun in life, and to enjoy Paris. And at night, she loves the darkness. And even if the Eiffel Tower is a cliché, I really want to push this cliché far, this postcard view of Paris this beautiful,” he laughs.
And talk about a mammoth set! A giant light gray concrete catwalk the size of a football field built on top of the fountains of the Trocadéro Garden.
All guests had received stern warning emails to be inside the show by 7.45 PM – highly unusual in Paris where evening shows often run 45 minutes late. Everyone complied. One understood why at 8pm, when the lights of the Eiffel Tower burst into life, and the first model marched out through a cloud of dry ice illuminated by arc lights.
Inside, 1,500 guests; outside in the surrounding garden and up higher at the Trocadéro, five times as many people craned to see the show. Ever the gent, Saint Laurent’s ultimate owner François-Henri Pinault personally welcomed Mayor Anne Hidalgo at the entrance. Fresh from winning the Olympics for her city, the Paris mayor beamed all the way to her seat.
When one editor complimented him on the staging, Pinault quipped: “Thanks! Well, we did construct the Eiffel Tower expressly to get it into the right position.”
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