Last night, Anthony Vaccarello made his big debut as creative director of Yves Saint Laurent. And it kicked off what will essentially be a big changing of the guard in Paris with Maria Grazia Chiuri and Bouchra Jarrar still set to reveal their first main season collections for Dior and Lanvin respectively. Here, the key takeaways from Vaccarello's inaugural collection.
1) He's banking on sex
As in, smouldering single-shouldered, leather mini-dresses with dramatic leg-of-mutton sleeves. Or razor sharp, distinctly feminine updates on the house's iconic Le Smoking (a piece that was originally more about androgyny when Yves Saint Laurent introduced it in the late Sixties) worn with sheer, nipple-freeing blouses (again, a nod to an Yves trademark). And to punctuate it all: the skinniest, sky high stilettos.
In a way, this is what we've been expecting to see. Vaccarello's work for his own eponymous line and later Versus, has always hinged on sex. And though he may be the sixth creative director to take the reins at Saint Laurent, his racy aesthetic is most in line with his immediate predecessor Hedi Slimane.
When Slimane kicked off an era of sex and rock and roll for the brand when he took over in 2012, the clothes sold incredibly well. So it makes sense from a business perspective that the house would want to build on that rather than start with a completely blank slate.
In terms of what this means for your wardrobe, the collection was yet another example of how fashion is turning its attention to sex, glamour and unquestionable femininity. It's also the latest proof that you need to go out more.
2) And drew inspiration from the 70s, 80s and 90s
Vaccarello said an image of Paloma Picasso, who inspired the YSL 'Scandal' collection in 1972, inspired his work — along with a 'girl who cultivates a taste for what is kitsch, the bizarrely beautiful, the great classics and a highly individual style,' according to the press notes. The clothes are about 'twisting bourgeois conventions and flirting with bad taste.'
3) The old logo is back!
When Slimane famously banished the 'Yves' from the brand name and the 'Y' from the logo, effectively doing away with the iconic YSL, people were angry.
So there was naturally an outpouring of excitement on social media when show-goers saw the original logo suspended outside of the show venue. It also appeared throughout the show as the heel on stilettos, scoring major points with YSL-die hards. Well played, Anthony.
4) Boyfriend jeans – the new It denim?
Denim has been going through a bout of multiple personality disorder lately (read about it in the October ELLE.) After a decade of skinny, we've now got flares, cropped flares, mom jeans, deconstructed vintage, and the list goes on. But the humble boyfriend jean had gotten lost in all the turnover, until now.
Vaccarello used them to add a bit of a boyish, streetwear undercurrent to his glossy leather and they frankly looked great. Will this be the new Vetements jean? Vaccarello's simple, unfussy shape and wash would certainly have a longer shelf life.
5) A more diverse Saint Laurent army
Yves Saint Laurent was a well-known champion of diversity on the runway. So it was a surprise (and a let down!) when Slimane took his runway castings in a more homogenous direction.
Vaccarello's runway looked the opposite, however, with a strong mix of near bare-faced models old (Anja Rubik, Freja Beha Erichsen) and new (show opener Mag Cysewska, show closer Jourdana Phillips and a Grace Jones-like Jenese Roper).