saint laurent channels neon demons and betty catroux for autumn/winter 19

Anthony Vaccarello just delivered another epic Saint Laurent show.

by Steve Salter
|
27 February 2019, 11:55am

Season on season, Anthony Vaccarello manages to push his ever-epic Saint Laurent show that bit further. That bit more extravagant. That bit more elevated. As he creates real fashion moments, he is continually crafting the defining show moments of each season. Last season the models quite literally walked on water in front the Eiffel Tower. Surely he couldn’t create a show experience more epic this season?

For autumn/winter 19, he managed the seemingly impossible. Inside a giant mirrored box erected in the Fontaine du Trocadero, with the Eiffel Tower blinking in the background, Anthony put on a light show in the City of Light. Inside the dazzling installation he mirrored the gravity-defying sculptural silhouettes and high fashion drama of the designs. With the highest of heels, the widest of shoulders, the shortest of hemlines, and the most embellished of everythings.

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“Everything starts from the shoulder and I work around the shape of that,” he explained post-show. “But I don’t want to talk about oversize because that’s been done, it’s much more sculptural, it’s more structured. Why? I want to give power to women,” he explained. “Our woman is strong. She’s not a warrior... she’s not mean, she’s just confident.” Backstage, he mentioned the influence of Catherine Deneuve, who was joined by two more of the house’s forever muses, Betty Catroux (check out the show’s second look, a sharp-shouldered lookalike dressed in power tailoring: shoulder pads are back!) and Bianca Jagger on the frow alongside Ezra Miller, Kate Moss, Amber Valletta and, last to arrive, Lindsay Lohan.

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Last month, icon of French cinema Deneuve auctioned 130 of her one-of-a-kind Yves Saint Laurent pieces and here, she will have found plenty of options to replace them with. Vaccarello described how he was influenced by this trio of muses and their “sophisticated and liberated spirit” which provided the thread that stitched the 103-look collection together as he remixed Yves’ greatest hits. With such a rich archive to play with, Anthony must be the envy of other creative directors, and he’s certainly making the most of it. We were treated to a captivating collage of reimagined memories; from 60s diamanté-adorned shift dresses to 70s second-skin tuxedos, velvet blazers and sculptural, red carpet owning dresses. The message for the Saint Laurent woman was take what you want and make it yours.

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After 18 menswear looks that celebrated creatures of the Parisian night, modern muses Kaia Gerber and Freja Beha Erichsen closed the first part of the show in updated Le Smoking suits sans trousers. As though that wasn’t epic enough, the finale was a second show in which models were bathed in UV light as they walked, their neon dresses glowing in the dark. This was the perfect punctuation to a season in which Vaccarello once again updated the Yves classics to create a wardrobe for tomorrow’s brave new woman and man. This might just have been his strongest Saint Laurent collection yet. As the big houses battle for fashion supremacy, last night at least, Paris belonged to Saint Laurent.

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anthony vaccarello
A/W 19
autumn/winter 19