Against the most jaw-dropping of backdrops, with sheer-drop cliff faces, crashing waves, and a beach that shimmers like diamonds on slate at night, Anthony Vaccarello presented the Saint Laurent Fall 2021 RTW runway show, as if on some fantastic odyssey.
Anthony Vaccarello was drawn to Monsieur Saint Laurent’s classically elegant mid ’60s tailleurs rendered in menswear fabrics for the collection. He ratcheted up the cool factor by cutting the jackets lean and sinuous and then matching the length of their hems to his skirts. Then he swapped out Saint Laurent’s then preferred monochromatic palette with a fabulously opulent and in your face array of violet, cobalt, gold, and chartreuse.
Finishing the looks off, he slipped gleaming metallic stretch bodysuits or the tiniest of leather miniskirts under the tailoring. Then he loaded up on the bijoux, great gleaming gorgeous fistfuls of the stuff; chandelier earrings, strasse bracelets, and chokers with a four-leaf-clover motif, something else sourced from the archive. It would be remiss not to mention the ultra-long leather boots or the wickedly pointy metal-tipped heels.
Another goddess stands over this collection: Peaches, she of gritty electroclash Berlin and “fuck the pain away” fame. “She wasn’t a classic beauty,” Vaccarello said, “but I don’t want ‘perfect’; I am not interested in that.” It’s this collection’s celebration of a raw and unvarnished beauty, of the offness of things, that makes it sing. Vaccarello has taken YSL’s historic blurring of luxury and kitsch, elegance and trash, and made it new and celebratory: the interplay of plush fake fur and lush leather; exquisite embroideries with jersey.