SAINT LAURENT RESORT 2021

Next summer’s longer jacket is rendered here as a nifty double-breasted blazer, cut with the same masculin/féminin attitude of YSL of yore, and paired with fluid, high-waisted/high-cut shorts.

By Balthazar Malevolent

SAINT LAURENT RESORT 2021

Even the most epic of journeys has to begin somewhere. Ask Saint Laurent’s Anthony Vaccarello, who last December unveiled his terrific spring 2021 collection via a movie of models walking in single file across shimmering and striated sand dunes which stretched (it appeared) into infinity. Now the house has released images of its spring 2021 pre-collection. Arriving in stores at any minute, it’s the curtain raiser on what we were treated to at the end of last year; the starting point for that desert odyssey of ’60s-meets-’90s molded longer line jackets, low-slung and slouchy pants, compact knit jumpsuits, short skirts, and lingerie looks which walked on the (tongue in chic) wild side as much as they did grains of sand. “I worked on spring during the confinement, so I was inspired by the idea of easy and more comfortable clothes which I continued in the pre-collection,” says Vaccarello.

A gimlet eye can detect how Vaccarello is kick-starting his spring line-up with this pre-collection. Next summer’s longer jacket is rendered here as a nifty double-breasted blazer, cut with the same masculin/féminin attitude of YSL of yore, and paired with fluid, high-waisted/high-cut shorts. That glorious Frederick’s of Hollywood vibe lingerie begins here with an armoire’s worth of lace and silk camisoles and slips, executed with the kind of vintage-y perfection that you’d only ever find in your dreams (or Kate Moss’s wardrobe, circa 1996). Their fretted delicacy lends a bit of softness to the likes of faded blue jeans, gilt-button cable-knit cardigans, and yet more of those shorts, cut from gleaming pliant leather. In other words: Why bother with a T-shirt when you could be wearing a camisole instead?

You might also see why the house held off showing this pre-collection until now. I mean, why spoil the surprise of seeing Vaccarello take on prints for Saint Laurent—a first for him, and deftly handled. There are pop-art blooms, a very Parisian matrix of polka dots, and a graphic daisy motif sourced from the house’s archive, which has more than a distinct whiff of those moments when Monsieur Saint Laurent riffed on the ’40s from the perspective of the ’70s. (Vaccarello gives his own nod to that decade mash-up, with several looks paired with his update of platform sandals which are redolent of Yves Saint Laurent’s iconic—and at the time, super controversial—ode to the 1940s that he showed in 1971.)

In essence though, Vaccarello’s conversations between his pre- and ‘runway’ collections are also in constant dialogue with the history, myth and reality of the house of Saint Laurent itself. Five years into his role at Saint Laurent he has been working on the classic concept of the garderobe—the stuff that’s used day in, day out—as much as anything worn in the glare of the spotlight, ta-dah moment. The underwear and hose styling of much of this pre-collection is pretty much just that; Vaccarello’s wink-wink to our weird state of indoor dressing where we’re caught between the privacy of home and the public face we present on Zoom. Or, as Vaccarello puts it: “At home…[it’s] the easy and effortless attitude you have in an intimate and comfortable environment.”

The takeaway here is the pieces which will transcend where we are now and take us into the future—one with a certain buoyancy and optimism, if these clothes are anything to go by. Those sharp, smart-investment jackets. The abbreviated print dresses which could just as easily—easier, even—be worn around the house with slides or sneakers. Oh, and any one of those impeccably cut trench coats, which Vaccarello shot a whole campaign on with the iconic and incredible Catherine Deneuve. How else do you triple-underscore timeless appeal—and true staying power?

Saint Laurent

In other news, Versace Spring 2021 ad campaign. Review of Versace Spring 2021 Ad Campaign by Donatella Versace and Creative Director Ferdinando Verderi with Photographers Mert Alas & Marcus Piggott.

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