The silver linings of a global pandemic are few and far between. But one that lingers is our newfound fascination with (and hopefully, care toward) the natural world. Anthony Vaccarello of Saint Laurent is among those inspired by natural landscapes, as evident in his Fall / Winter 2021 collection which unveiled globally this afternoon. Shot in a myriad of sweeping, cinematic locations—frozen arctic tundras, Middle Earth-style barren landscapes—Vaccarello designed the new collection with the show’s location in mind.
“I knew I wanted a wintry location,” he said in a post-show interview. “One which showed how strong nature is; how we are really nothing next to it, how ephemeral we are. It’s not a place where anyone is going skiing, but Saint Laurent should do something that’s like a dream: What the F?! Why is she there?” He went on to compare himself to a film director, saying he loved the idea “of [placing] a girl in a landscape where she doesn’t belong.”
As for the clothes themselves, they were a beautiful extension of the signature aesthetic Vaccarello has spent the last five years developing—a modernised take on the house codes first mastered by Yves Saint Laurent himself. Tailored women’s jackets were streamlines and worn with mini shorts. Lamè metallic skirts were paired with sheer tights and above-the-knee leather boots, or slice-your-hand-on-them pointed stiletto heels. There were sequin embellished tailored evening jackets, velvet Bermuda shorts, jersey bodysuits with risque cutouts, and lashings of gold jewellery.
The perfect outfits for gallivanting through apocalyptic-looking winter scapes? Hardly. But thankfully we’re far more likely to be wearing this collection in less abrasive locales—our much-missed boozy dinner parties, and the kind of fabulous parties where sequin micro-shorts and six-inch stilettos are not only welcome but encouraged. A large part of Yves Saint Laurent’s enduring legacy was his ability to dress chic Parisian women (Betty Catroux and Loulou de la Falaise always spring to mind) in a way that married glamour with a respectable rock n’ roll sensibility. For 2021, it seems as timely as ever to channel it.