The first signs of a new beginning at Saint Laurent was the huge YSL logo hanging from a crane that greeted guests at the show space, an actual construction site, which will be the new Saint Laurent headquarters and showrooms in 2018. Situated on Paris’s Left Bank, ‘Rive Gauche’ was brought back to the brand, with Pierre Berge, Lou Doillon, Jane Birkin and Charlotte Gainsbourg in attendance.
Vaccarello’s debut at Saint Laurent SS17 showcased his signature styles—skirts were cut dangerously short, necklines plunged down to the midriff and skillful draping made a gold lame dress look like molten gold. The Le Smoking was reinterpreted with a boxy jacket matched with very narrow trousers, which then gave way to equally boxy, sleeveless vests with unfinished edges and lots of one-shouldered tops with leg-of-mutton sleeves. The mostly black collection, save for the gold lame, blue denim, tapestry jackets and velvety leopard print looks at the end, were accessorised with large crystal-encrusted jewellery, and more of the house logo in the earrings, as a heel in some of the pumps and even as flash tatts above the ankle. Flash tatts at Saint Laurent? Call it tacky but that’s exactly what Vaccarello aimed to do with a collection that ‘flirted with bad taste‘—after all, it was Yves Saint Laurent’s Scandal collection of 1972 that was the starting point of Vaccarello’s YSL.
There is a sort of strength in honesty to Simon Porte Jacquemus‘ work—his creations are often an extension of himself in a sense, staying true to his design philosophy while flaunting inventiveness season after season. Inspired by the traditional Provençal folk, or more specifically the nativity scene figurines (Santons de Provence) associated with their culture, his SS17 collection is an ode to his hometown in the South of France. He filled up the holes that were a feature in his past shows, and presented what has to be one his most wearable collections to date. Shapes remain a steady motif for SS17, taking a more literal stand in the triangular bibs—a nod to the traditional French folk dressing—buttons, and angular silhouettes, and gently nudging through in the voluminous peasant sleeves. The white dress with an irregular hem and knife pleats is just one of many looks that are tugging at my heartstrings.
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