There’s a danger that even fashion lovers might be ever so slightly bored by week four of of the AW17 presentations if it weren’t for the fact that Paris Fashion Week is home to some of the industry’s heaviest hitters. The iconic Saint Laurent, under the creative direction of Anthony Vaccarello, showed yesterday, and what a show it was.
Vaccarello continued to draw heavily on retro eighties references, but the AW17 collection felt less like caricature and more commercial. The term “commercial” can sometimes be construed as a criticism, but in this case it’s anything but. Building an imaginative, innovative collection that fulfils a designer’s creative vision, and offers women pieces that they can’t wait to get their hands on is the highest praise in my mind. Perhaps the decision to forego the elaborate hair and make-up of previous seasons in favour of freshness and simplicity helped with the overall accessibility of the collection.
It began with a strong utilitarian vibe. Leather was ubiquitous in the form of flying jackets, low-waisted punk-style pants and slouchy knee-high boots in shades of teal to tar. Textured sheepskin adorned patent shrugs (this was an incredible example of how to take a traditionally feminine item and completely reimagine it in a tough-girl guise), tactile knits softened denim and the smoothest-looking suede was the starting point for an incredible tunic dress with exaggerated fluted sleeves.
Then the Studio 54 vibe that has infused so much of the Anthony Vaccarello’s recent work took over the show. A cobalt blue metallic mini dress with Alexis Colby shoulders and a ruched one-shoulder sequin mini dress took the narrative from utility to sultry. Vaccarello’s reimagining of tuxedo dressing was chic and covetable – a sequinned mini, paired with a velvet tuxedo jacket; what’s not to love?
The final runway look – a metallic silver midi dress with overlong sleeves, which caressed rather than clung to the body, summed up beautifully the glamour, modernity and wearability of this collection. If it isn’t too early to begin an AW wish list, I want that dress, and a pair of those boots in every shade possible.