Got to hand it to Anthony Vaccarello, the designer of Saint Laurent, he is not afraid to take a position, as his latest collection and show video trumpeted on Wednesday.
Shot in a series of vast northern hemisphere vistas, his latest video was entitled Where the Silver Wind Blows, and featured a strikingly skinny cast marching across some of the most rugged terrain ever seen in a fashion clip.
A moody, yet far from unhappy cast that strode self-confidently in barely-there clothes, under threateningly gray skies. A show that opened with silver or gold liquid metal tanks, paired with bouclé wool skirts and jackets in cerulean blue or black dazzling sequins.
Despite the stark surroundings, the Belgian-born designer cut micro mini-skirts finished with real fur trims; or whipped up pocketed minis so short they looked like hotpants.
The cast walking over a volcanic terrain; then descending into river shallows below a crashing waterfall, before striding along a path through a massive pale green tundra. This did not look like the most comfortable of shoots, as frozen-lipped beauties, some in Cossack chakras and thigh boots, walked across black slate shorelines and past cobalt blue icebergs.
Also looking very natty were crisp greatcoats; white chiffon tuxedo shirts; chainmail bras and a superb four-pocket biker jacket and leather pants combo worn with a white satin blouse. However, one could not help thinking that an all red four-pocket jacket will not have gone unnoticed in the Chanel legal department, famed for their fast draw with writs against even a whiff of replication.
Bleak but very beautiful, and shot by video artist Nathalie Canguilhem, this was one of the half dozen most highly accomplished show videos since the pandemic sent the entire industry online. Heightened by a marvelous piece of fresh casting. Whatever else, surely this video deserves an award from the Icelandic tourist agency.
“Serious matters push you to take other things less seriously, finding the balance while staying on the edge is a sophisticated aptitude,” said Vaccarello in his program note. His stated goal, to “shake up Saint Laurent’s bourgeois code,” as he played with references to Canadian rocker and visual artist Peaches, whose themes of gender identity were well ahead of her time.
Vaccarello has also built up a major accessories business at Saint Laurent and fans will love lots of his latest footwear, notably new high heels with gold chain-covered heels and toes.
He thus maintained the house’s long tradition of bold costume jewelry begun by Yves Saint Laurent’s pal and design assistant, the great Loulou de la Falaise. Like bohemian Byzantine earrings and brooches; multiple clover-shaped pendants; or micro crystal belts.
Like we said, Vaccarello has the conviction to stake out his aesthetic and terrain, and break a few rules doing so, which Yves would surely have been proud to witness.
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