Most of the key pieces that you have just added to your autumn wardrobe wish list (a strong blazer, chunky gold jewellery, a statement skirt) will be derived from February’s Saint Laurent catwalk show.
Anthony Vaccarello, creative director since 2016, has a vision for the storied Parisian house that is as sharp as his tailoring. He delivers collections that are so clearly edited that they leave the viewer in absolutely no doubt as to what his point of view for the season ahead is. And, consequently, the viewers want to buy everything he suggests.
Next spring’s shopping list can start with a jumpsuit. All-in-ones made up 20 per cent of this collection, spanning perfectly proportioned boilersuits, to a strapless black evening style modelled by Eva Herzigová (aged 50, and the latest original supermodel to be enjoying a mid-life catwalk comeback).
Then you’ll be wanting a safari jacket. Vaccarello reworked the “Saharien”, the cotton gabardine style inspired by the Afrika Korps uniforms that Yves Saint Laurent saw during his upbringing in North Africa, and “invented” as a Parisian fashion hit in 1967.
Vaccarello’s new incarnations are devoid of fancy embroideries, or even the neckline laces that the original had. Yet he managed to rework elements of the style (the utility pockets, the fastenings and collars) across 49 new looks that felt completely fresh and covetable.
Those pockets also punctuated streamlined gabardine pencil skirts, cargo pants, shirt dresses and overshirts. Almost all of this collection was made in fuss-free, lightweight cotton – aside from a trio of mousseline evening dresses at the finale. Noting the soaring temperatures across Europe this summer, it makes sense to steer customers towards breathable fabrics (what luxury client wants to be sweltering under a weight of embellishment?).
Other takeaways – brown leather accessories, not black, will look great with this summer colour palette of khakis, beige, white, burgundy and more brown. Hefty gold 1980s-esque jewellery, and mirrored sunglasses, add glamour to the pared back look.
The styling served to amp up outfits as seemingly simple as a pencil skirt and white cotton vest, and that was the point. Saint Laurent’s versions of these easy-looking clothes will be exquisitely made and carry high price-tags. But it is no accident that it is so easy to copy elements from this collection at home – Vaccarello is one of the names leading fashion right now, and he ensures that his ideas can trickle down to the high street.
Kate Moss, Jerry Hall, Carla Bruni and Zoe Kravitz were among the front-row guests, almost all wearing this season’s strong-shouldered blazers. Fast forward to spring, and the devotees will be recognisable as a tonal fan club when they come together in their khakis for Vaccarello’s next show under the Eiffel Tower.