Every September, the Trocadéro – that famous stretch that leads up to La Tour Eiffel – comes alive with Smoking suits and sequins, latex and leather. It’s here, season after season, year after year, artistic director Anthony Vaccarello presents his Saint Laurent collections, casting Yves Saint Laurent’s work through his own thoroughly modern lens, both honouring and breaking the codes of the house with brilliance.
This year, however, Saint Laurent will not be presenting its Spring 2021 show in Paris. Citing the “current circumstance and its waves of radical change”, the brand has chosen to forgo all pre-set schedules of the 2020 fashion week calendar, the first major brand to breakaway from the Spring shows.
In its place, a new, more intimate strategy, one Vaccarello says will focus on slow fashion and core pieces, and one that will come about when he is “ready”. “This season, I want to present a collection when I am ready to show it,” he told WWD. “It’s not a complete change season after season. Everything is intended to be mixed with previous seasons. It’s always about the attitude of the same woman or man. In the show, you can really see what’s from last season. More image pieces will always be there, as it’s not the time to be boring. It’s time for even more creativity.”
As for what this new direction will actually shape up to look like, time will only tell, but the brand has vowed to connect with its disciples in a different way. “Saint Laurent has decided to take control of its pace and reshape its schedule,” they wrote in an official statement. “Now more than ever, the brand will lead its own rhythm, legitimating the value of time and connecting with people globally by getting closer to them in their own space and lives. With this strategy firmly in place, Saint Laurent will not present its collections in any of the pre-set schedules of 2020. Saint Laurent will take ownership of its calendar and launch its collections following a plan conceived with an up-to-date perspective, driven by creativity.”
For a brand who has always marched to the beat of their own drum (in a sharp Le Smoking suit nonetheless), it seems this brave move is befitting. The question remains, however, who else will follow suit?