SUBTLE SAINT LAURENT
In the ever-evolving world of fashion, success is often measured by the ability to leave a lasting impression, etching the show’s memory into our minds with a captivating silhouette and a striking setting. Anthony Vaccarello, the brilliant mind behind Saint Laurent, has masterfully curated this template with his laser-focused spectacles, consistently staged against the iconic backdrop of the Eiffel Tower, while never failing to deliver a bold and unforgettable fashion statement. For Spring 2024, Vaccarello distilled his creative genius into two simple words: cotton and stone. These were the primary materials not only for the stunning garments but also for the breathtaking marble set, which soared high above the lush lawns of the Champ de Mars.
This collection marked a significant departure for Saint Laurent, a brand historically associated with elegant, predominantly black evening attire. However, this season, the runway showcased an array of daytime ensembles, predominantly loose-fitting and adorned in a spectrum of warm, spice-rack hues. Cargo pants even made an appearance, heralding a refreshing twist. Intriguingly, Vaccarello’s vision harkened back to the foundations of Saint Laurent, revisiting the pioneering 1960s creations that included the iconic safari jacket, jumpsuits, and a delightful array of pants.
´Clothing should be a canvas for self-expression and an homage to the fearless spirits who carved their names in history. Saint Laurent’s Spring 2024 collection celebrates the elegance of simplicity, where cotton and stone weave tales of pioneering women and modern allure.´ – Anthony Vaccarello
Speaking backstage before the show, Vaccarello articulated his vision: “I aimed for simplicity this season, departing from opulent materials and ostentation. This time, there are no suits; it’s quite the opposite of the previous season.” As grain de poudre stepped aside, gabardine took the spotlight. While cotton sportswear may not be Vaccarello’s usual terrain, he daringly undertook the challenge of elevating uncomplicated silhouettes with everyday materials, emphasising that it’s all about achieving the perfect proportions.
This collection drew inspiration from trailblazing women, particularly from the realms of race car driving and aviation, exemplified by luminaries such as Amelia Earhart and Adrienne Bolland. This influence was evident in the small leather helmets, statement gloves, and an abundance of zip-front boiler suits, each cinched with a molten caramel-hued high-heel slingback. One thing that remained unchanged was the signature allure and polished demeanor synonymous with Saint Laurent sirens, evoking memories of silver screen legends like Catherine Deneuve, who graced the screens as the most glamorous vampire in 1983’s “The Hunger.” Each look was impeccably completed with slicked-back hair, smoky eyes, vibrant red lips, and statement bangles and earrings.
Saint Laurent has consistently maintained its dominance within the Kering portfolio in recent years, boasting a 7 percent surge in organic sales during the second quarter of 2023. The brand continues to astound with its lavish boutiques, and word on the street is that the colossal Champs-Élysées flagship under construction will incorporate elements of the stone marvel that graced the Spring 2024 runway, followed closely by a touch of cotton.
Article: Charles Daniel McDonald
Photography: Saint Laurent / Kering