SAINT LAURENT SPRING 2021 READY-TO-WEAR

Vaccarello: “I wanted to speak to the comfort of the ’60s and to the comfort of today.”

By Balthzar Malevolent

SAINT LAURENT SPRING 2021 READY-TO-WEAR

On a runway the color of sun-bleached sand, Anthony Vaccarello showed a stellar Saint Laurent collection of slick, strong shouldered tailoring and even slicker latex last February. Perhaps the set was intended to evoke North Africa's desert landscapes, a region with which the house has long been associated - Monsieur Saint Laurent was born in Algeria - but it also rendered one heck of a backdrop for the radical (and ravishing) reimagining of Vaccarello's classic YSL color palette emerald, fuchsia, lipstick red, et al. Now, ten life-changing months later, Vaccarello has returned to the dunes to present summer 2021. It's a link connecting where we were and where we are, rather than a neat visual along the line between the collections. I say time-sands, anybody?

This time, there's no elaborate show in Paris, though. Instead it's a hypnotic video by longtime artistic accomplice Natalie Canguilhem of models walking through striated sandbanks in a snaking single file in.... well who knows exactly where? Suffice to say that the panoramic view as far as the eye (well the camera) can see a similar trick performed here as it did in February: the better to highlight his current sleek silhouette, an uninterrupted backdrop. Next summer's collection is a great trendy workout, but one with a kicker; it's also shockingly smooth, rough edges rounded off, save for the models' punkish/puckish haircuts. There is a general breeze, but nothing too loose, of giving, soothing, sometimes even playfulness. Vaccarello did not leave untouched the months of life in and out of lockdown, le confinément, with the attendant desire for clothes with ease and softness.

"I wanted something softer, warmer with all that was going on in the world," he said during that phone call from Paris. He found his response to how to do it by delving into the YSL archives, alighting on the fluid, versatile jersey dressing that Saint Laurent did in 1968 in his normal resolutely left-field and non-historicist way.

Saint Laurent Spring 2021 Ready-to-Wear

In other news, Leica and Mykita team up for camera-inspired collaboration to create sunglasses with uncompromising quality and clarity of vision. Mykita and Leica have pioneered sun lenses with optical grade quality.

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