There’s been a lot of talk this season about ‘the new sexy’. Designers have had 18 months to stew on what women will want from fashion ‘post pandemic’ and if this season has shown us anything it’s that the highest calibre designers are essentially in unison: they want an elevated take on the art of seduction. It makes sense. After such a long time deprived of the sense of touch, it’s no surprise that sensuality is back on fashion’s agenda. We saw it at Prada, where Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons crafted modern pieces inspired by lingerie and corsetry. And at Burberry, where Riccardo Tisci cut the brand’s signature trench so short, it exposed a cheeky flash of derriere. At Saint Laurent, Anthony Vaccarello has been carefully crafting a luxury take on seduction for years. If there were a moment that was his for the taking, Spring/Summer 2022 was it.
And take it he did. Set against a cinematic landscape-the Eiffel Tower at sunset-YSL’s SS ‘22 offering—staged in Paris this evening, you can watch the live-stream here—injected sex appeal into every element of the modern woman’s wardrobe. Going out? A skin-tight bodysuit with suggestive cutouts, sunglasses, and lashings of jewellery. To the office? A cropped blazer, high waist cigarette trousers, and a chain mail vest. Or you could just add electric blue or poppy red leather gloves to your usual tailored suit. Rose print motifs – printed on jersey catsuits and neat, flattering trousers – offered a welcome feminine edge. There was something for everyone, so long as you’re the type who dances the night away at some chic Marais-based club.
Tonight, French and Spanish designer Paloma Picasso’s independence of spirit became Vaccarello’s muse, drawing specifically on a moment in time when YSL’s late co-founder Pierre Berge spotted the Spanish woman – and daughter of artist Pablo Picasso – with his co-founder, Yves Saint Laurent, at a party.
“[Yves and I] were invited to a friend’s house who was throwing a party,” a quote from Berge reads on the show notes. “At one point, I no longer spot Yves. I look for him and find him with a young unknown girl. She had wedge heels, a turban on her head, and things she had tinkered into clothes. It was Paloma Picasso.”
Freedom, instinct, energy hit the runway as the an ode to emancipation, and a call to subversive seduction—something that has always been intrinsic to the house. “For a long time, I wanted to transpose this meeting between Paloma Picasso and Yves Saint Laurent, whose importance few realise in the designer’s creative journey,” says Vaccarello. “It is a moment to which I am sensitive as a designer, because for me it is the defining moment when Saint Laurent’s fashion creativity became a style.”