Anthony Vaccarello took Saint Laurent in a new direction for Autumn 2022 after several seasons of youthful haute glamour. Gone were the paillettes and micro minis best for after hours dressing, gone was the overt sexiness and killer heels underscoring killer bodies.
Belgian-born Vaccarello signalled in a new era, one where the body is covered in glorious ankle-length dresses and sublimely wrapped in faux fur coats. The silhouette was long and lean, elegant and sparse, in probably his most pared-down collection to date.
Models wore their hair combed back or in a side parting, accessorised with chunky earrings, and minimal makeup, recalling a time before selfies and pouting lips, of understated beauty and what it means to be feminine.
The cuts were modern and new, in a way Yves Saint Laurent himself injected modernity during his own time. The shoulder and collars were emphasised, but any statements never tipped to the point of exaggeration or flash, all the while keeping a fine balance of elegance
A new ease and elegance
A silver silk sheath worn under a caban coat in the first look defined an ease and confidence that Mr Vaccarello has largely eschewed until now. Saint Laurent leaned into a Paris nightclub aesthetic but this collection had none of the exposed legs, breasts or copious amounts of skin from other seasons. The Saint Laurent days of thigh skimming could well be over, the only high octane element proposed by Mr Vaccarello is the high level of sophistication.
Particularly poignant are the exquisite coats, which show fur and animal skins are no longer necessary to achieve a similar richness from quality fabrics and craftsmanship.