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Anthony Vaccarello has done it again, at the Eiffel Tower no less. For his summer 2022 show at Paris Fashion Week, the Saint Laurent creative director solidified his place as one of fashion’s most exciting design talents, as well as his relevance in the pop-culture pantheon: indie darling Talia Ryder, Gossip Girl star Emily Alyn Lind, and Blackpink’s Rosé, a global brand ambassador, were all in attendance.
Set against the backdrop of France’s most luminous landmark, a massive runway and wall of lights battled to capture the audience’s (and Instagram’s) attention. Remixed music by composer Yann Tiersen and flamenco duo Bernarda de Utrera and Fernanda de Utrera set the mood which can only be described as downright sexy. Then came the clothes. Fitted suits, power shoulders, bustiers… all modeled by the chicest women we’ve ever seen. Consider us seduced, and we weren’t the only ones.
Turns out, the inspiration for the brand’s latest wares delves deep into a lightbulb moment in founder Yves Saint Laurent’s career, when he was transfixed by Paloma Picasso’s infectious, free-wheeling spirit. To honor her legacy, Vaccarello took a cue from the designer’s creative sartorial takes and proficient mixing of masculine and feminine codes, imbued with a certain je ne sais quoi that struck just the right amount of scandalous.
Picasso’s influence was palpable in the eclectic pairings: cut-out tops with leggings, belted floral catsuits sourced from archival prints, pouches tucked effortlessly into pants. The perfect balance of polished and unfussy, the collection was a study in contrasts, and Vaccarello definitely understood the assignment. The finale culminated with flashing lights and a full-blown waterfall, because there’s nothing like Paris in the rain.
Vaccarello made his intention clear in the show notes. “For a long time, I wanted to transpose this meeting between Paloma Picasso and Yves Saint Laurent, whose importance few realize in the designer’s creative journey. It is a moment to which I am sensitive as a designer, because for me it is the defining moment when Saint Laurent’s fashion creativity became a style.”
To quote YSL model Inès de La Fressange, “The secret of great style is to feel good in what you wear.” You’ll be hard-pressed to find a look here that doesn’t accomplish this.
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