They say Spring is the season is for change, but Anthony Vaccarello brought plenty of transformation to the Saint Laurent runway with his Fall 2020 Ready to Wear collection. Gone was the epic Eiffel Tower backdrop of seasons past, filling in instead was a sparse white runway, lit up with individual spot lights, causing the models to cast large shadows as they paraded from one light spot to the next, evoking epic Parisian film noir vibes for the star studded audience. Gone was the predominantly black color palette, as Vaccarello opened the show with an unexpected red plaid blazer and matching blouse, tied at the neck with large bow. The colors continued as a mustard yellow blazer appeared, and then a blue one with white lapels, until finally a rainbow of maroon, purple, red and electric blue appeared one after another on dresses, skirts, pants and a fluffy, furry vest. This was a new direction for Vaccarello, yet one that was deeply rooted in the Saint Laurent heritage. The designer drew inspiration from 90’s era YSL, even referencing fabrics from the archives to reproduce certain plaid and houndstooth looks.
The theme was “bourgeois”, however you choose to interpret that; Classic, with the English blazers and pussy-bow blouses; Throwback, with the electric 80’s colors; Modern, with the bra tops and knee high boots; or Sexy, with the ever present latex and exposed skin. Lets talk about the latex. Skin tight, glistening latex that was shown on pants, pencil skirts, boots, long sleeved tops, halter tops, dresses, here there and everywhere. Paired with the numerous blazers it showed quite a dichotomy. Was it for sex appeal? Vaccarello says no, his Saint Laurent woman is powerful and meaningful, yet was it out of touch? Do women want to wear latex pants as daywear? Is Catwoman still a style icon? In a week that brought the #MeToo movement back into headlines with the rape conviction of Harvey Weinstein and a Dior runway the day before displaying artwork of words such as “consent” and “when women strike the world stops”, how do you justify a collection built around latex? Without a doubt there is, and always will be, a place for sex appeal in clothing, which is why we always love a Vaccarello collection. Sheer fabrics is an undying trend, short shorts will always have a place in our hearts, as do plunging necklines and strong shoulder accents, but the connotations of latex is a harder sell. Its incredibly difficult and uncomfortable to wear, and the S&M vibes might be ok if every woman was dominant, yet that is just not the case. And not many women these days want to be restricted, whether it be by their clothes or the world.
– Elizabeth Kramsky