FW2020 Accessories Report: Saint Laurent

by Sharon Tulasidas

His-and-Her Saint Laurent Accessories You Can Wear This Season.

At first glance, Creative director Anthony Vaccarrello’s collection looked nearly anachronistic – with the jackets with stocky shoulders only those among us old enough can recall; the pussycat bows on sheer blouses you’d associate with the haute bourgeois women from back in the day; and jewel-tone ensembles that channelled a somewhat gaudy Nineties glam…

But the show notes clearly state the inspiration:

Dare we say the ghost of the late Monsieur Yves Saint Laurent has been Shaken. Stirred. Resurrected?

Vaccarello’s collection took inspiration from the brand’s Nineties archives, a time when Monsieur Saint Laurent was still designing for the house (he retired after staging his last couture show in 2002). In fact, the ‘90s were important years for the storied French house — March 1992 marked the company’s 30th Anniversary.

Yet there was nothing dated about Vaccarello’s offering, even if his looks referenced styles from fashion’s illustrious past. There was quite a lot about this collection that didn’t seem very Vaccarello, and then, there it was right in your face – the after-dark glam, the sex appeal… All that latex! It was all classy and sophisticated, yet rather anarchic at the same time.

I wanted to find the balance between control and abandonment, the tension between discipline and pleasure that defines the modernity of Saint Laurent,” said Vaccarello in the Saint Laurent press release for Winter 20.

For Saint Laurent, elegance is mandatory but it also goes with perversity; one without the other would only be plain bourgeoisie or vulgarity. Mister Saint Laurent had a very peculiar vision of bourgeoisie, he almost rejected it. I was really stimulated by that tension this season, it made me want to break the codes that are too conventional. Saint Laurent is about danger,” the Belgian designer concluded.

Vaccarello’s colour palette was in itself unorthodox and, perhaps, out of character. Most of the collections he had previously presented were predominantly black but here he fearlessly mixed fuchsia with violet, mustard with raspberry, and emerald with Majorelle blue, the maison’s signature azurean hue.

There weren’t too many accessories on the runway — not a single bag was in sight but other must-have accountments could be seen as tributes to the house. Think thick belts for cinching that femme fatale-worthy waist; skinny latex boots to hit a Helmut Newton-approved sex quotient; and chunky gold jewellery  – because channelling your inner Paloma Picasso really wouldn’t hurt!

In comparison, Vaccarello’s men’s collection wasn’t quite as decadent. Titled the Fall 20 collection, it accompanies the women’s collection of the same season, and in fact, precedes the Nineties-inspired défilé.

Although Vaccarello’s dress jackets, blazers and coats also had stout shoulders, there was nothing Nineties-inspired about these posh outerwear pieces. “Épaule carrée,” the designer called them. These square shoulders sat high and imposingly horizontal. Vaccarello was thinking about an entirely different era when piecing this collection together.

It was the Beat generation of the ’50s and ’60s, the Left Bank intellects, and Monsieur Saint Laurent dress style of that time that lingered on Vaccarello’s mind as he sketched the lanky silhouettes, narrow/streamlined shapes, and tailored cuts. A recurring theme in the collection was the cropped trouser in both super-skinny as well as straight-and-wide cuts.

Vaccarello showed them in various iterations of dress pants, black jeans, and even faded blue jeans. The latter served as the most interesting offering, being that they appeared both Parisian beatnik (think musician Serge Gainsbourg) and Nineties grunge.

Scarves, fedoras and skinny belts (to flaunt that equally thin frame) are some of the fetching and super easy accessories from this collection to mindlessly hoard or better yet, share with your other half. And fret not if you can’t fit into any of the men’s footwear range of Chelsea boots, derbies and loafers; you could at least cop the peerless and impeccable Parisian look. Style tip: It’s all about the cropped hemline and ruched-up socks.


Images courtesy of Saint Laurent, artwork by Curatedition. All rights reserved.


Related links:

Fall/Winter 2020: The Accessories Report

Bottega Veneta



Louis Vuitton



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