Lights opening up on a rain-drenched floor at the Saint Laurent show looked like giant creatures of the night ready to devour the bare legs above.
Up, up climbed this crystal white lumiere, raking over soft flesh and then teeny-tiny shorts – in hard denim, soft velvet or thick leather. Meanwhile, overhead, the Eiffel Tower beamed through this watery storm – until Naomi Campbell walked the final steps of the parade.
Welcome to the world of Anthony Vaccarello!
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Except, of course, that it is not really the designer’s own universe, but that of Yves Saint Laurent, who had ceased to be inventive before the turn of the millennium, yet whose earlier inspirations are forever young.
“I really want to play homage to the smoking (dinner jacket) and to say, ‘OK, that’s the house of the tuxedo, if you need one you have to come to Saint Laurent because otherwise you get a fake tuxedo.’ That was my basic idea,” Vaccarello explained on the edge of the soaked runway.
The designer belittles himself. For this was one of Vaccarello’s most far-reaching shows, including references to the rich YSL period of Russian icons and hippie de luxe from Marrakesh. It is just that Vaccarello mostly sucked out the colour and played with black and gold.
“I started with structure and everything very dark – a heavy summer, with heavy embroidery and colours – not very light – more dark green, heavy gold. I really want to give another aspect of summer.” the designer said.
The intermittent rain was almost enough to wipe off the spirit of summer – even if the crowds of ‘ordinary’ folk seemed happy to stand and cheer Kate Moss, walking to her place in a tuxedo jacket over leather trousers, or Zoë Kravitz in what looked like bra-and-lace underwear.
The number of high octane celebrities included Cindy Crawford, who came to watch daughter Kaia on the runway, to Andie MacDowell, and Rami Malek who played Freddie Mercury in the Queen biopic, Bohemian Rhapsody.
The monumentalism of the lights, opening up like hungry mouths – the better to eat up its prey – was a work of art and enabled the audience to absorb just how many pieces there were to try and buy: dozens of different jackets; voluptuous curvey little dresses; floating long dark dresses lashed with golden lace. It was a tour de force done cunningly to look casual.https://www.instagram.com/p/B2zypODnDUp/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=dlfix
But what about those lights everywhere, licking at the models’ high heeled shoes and knee-high boots?
“I wanted to do something for outside space so I thought of putting the light on the floor,” Vaccarello explained. “It can be like a new chandelier for the Russian collection, coming from the floor. It’s like when you are drunk seeing all the lights in double vision.”
And the Eiffel Tower, all lit up, once again as a backdrop to the show?
“I cannot find another place here that is so…Tour Eiffel for me is like Saint Laurent, it’s what you have in mind when you think of Paris.”