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Saint Laurent closed the first day of Paris Fashion Week on Tuesday with a big budget show set in the gardens surrounding the Eiffel Tower, complete with a dramatic faux rain shower finale – droplets of which gently smattered the FROW.
The SS22 collection, which centred on a nighttime wardrobe of Lycra bodysuits, blazer dresses, power-shouldered tailoring and split-front maxis in YSL archive flower prints, was Anthony Vacarello’s celebration of a new dawn, or “an ode to emancipation, and a call to subversive seduction,” as he put it.
And certainly the belted long-sleeved bodysuits with clutch bags tucked in the belt (hands free huns!) and cropped blazers worn sans top with high-wasted jeans felt sexy but not in the obvious flesh-flashing way so many designers have gone in for this season.
Vacarello was inspired by Yves Saint Laurent’s meeting with ‘it’ girl Paloma Picasso (youngest daughter of Pablo) in the 60s, and the freeing impact it had on the designer’s approach to couture. With big hair, red lips, and a penchant for dressing in flea market finds that was unusual for the time, Paloma inspired YSL’s 1971 “Libération” Collection, which echoed the short dresses, platform shoes and heavy makeup of Occupied France and shook up the prim and perfect silhouettes YSL had thus far favoured.
Just as that collection saw YSL break free from convention (”for me it is the defining moment when Saint Laurent’s fashion creativity became a style,” says Vaccarello), so too the SS22 collection was all about dressing however you so please – wear those sunglasses inside! Stack your chunky bracelets atop those leather gloves and turn up to dinner in a purple halterneck bodysuit… it’s summer ’22 baby, anything goes.