Was it the general languor of spring 2018 to date? The cool air of the Paris evening? Perhaps the setting — beneath the on-the-hour twinkling glory of the Eiffel Tower as night fell? Did those elements shoot a three-part cupid’s bow, or was it really love?
Love — an atypical emotion for this reviewer regarding the house of Saint Laurent at show time. Interest, curiosity, fascination — check, check, check. But love? Not so much. The repetitive tight, sexy, vulgar thing — don’t get it. Or so one thought. Yet under the glow of that most glorious of monuments — zing!
Anthony Vaccarello showed a collection that did all the right things to hot and sexy. He simultaneously respected and had his way with the house codes, integrating elements of the once-revolutionary, ever-glam perspective of Yves Saint Laurent with the doesn’t-give-a-bleep audacity of Hedi Slimane. Was there a soupçon of Tom Ford’s hyper-polished dress-for-sex appeal? You betcha.
For spring, the Saint Laurent woman can get by with very little, provided she has a great pair of legs. Then, she needs only a pair of shorts, billowing blouse, bra top, ample sparkle and feathers galore, whether as wings on her stilettoed feet or a giant fluff masquerading as evening attire. If flyaway nights aren’t her thing, she can swap in one of Vaccarello’s naughty violations of couture shapes — abundant structured cuts truncated into leggy bubbles perfect for the most brazen of the celebrity red-carpet set. As for the guys, a sparkly jacket, showy but not silly, over skinny pants.
After the show, Vaccarello said he’d wanted to make a collection of which the late Pierre Bergé would be proud, and that it was “a tribute to the atelier and to Paris and to that savoir faire.” He wasn’t kidding. Since Slimane, Saint Laurent has become a throbbing epicenter of fashion attitude, stronger on the attitude than the fashion. Here, Vaccarello reversed the order, making his lineup, in its way, chic and lots of fun.
True love? For the moment, at least. Given this reviewer’s admittedly limited grasp of Vaccarello’s oeuvre, it probably won’t last. Oh, well. Better to have loved and lost…