In Paris, under the watchful eye of the Eiffel Tower, Anthony Vaccarello erected a grand marble platform for Saint Laurent’s Spring/Summer 2024 presentation as the last remaining breaths of summer heat make themselves known.
“Almost nothing” is what Vaccarello wanted to do with his latest collection. And while this may have been his intention, the result was actually, well, everything.
As he found himself exhausted by the intricacies and convoluted processes that can be unduly lauded in design, Vaccarello decided to take it back to where it all began. Taking inspiration from adventurous and pioneering women, including but not limited to Amelia Earhart and Adrienne Bolland, who have infiltrated domains once considered exclusively male, the Spring/Summer 2024 show was a reexamination of the codes that put Yves Saint Laurent on the map. The earthy elegance of the iconic Safari jacket—a revolution of its time—was revisited, only stripped back even further by Vaccarello to shape the foundations of the utilitarian-focused collection.
Almost everything—save for some ethereal mousseline evening wear—was crafted in cotton and linen and meticulously refined to reveal clothing in its purest form. What remained was an array of relaxed trousers, pencil skirts, belted jumpsuits and shirt dresses, all emboldened by Vaccarello’s astute eye for accessories. There was a surprising lack of bags on the runway, but giant drop earrings, chunky bangles and sharp aviators achieved plenty. Coupled with slicked-back hair and crisp red lips, there was the sense that bags may have weighed these models down in their self-possessed strides.
Though minimalist does come to mind when contextualising this collection against his others, this should not be mistaken for modesty. Just like at his ’80s redux for Fall/Winter 2023, there were no wallflowers on this runway, only the kind of clothes that assert their elegance and command attention. In a time where it feels like headline-grabbing gimmicks and maximalism for maximalism’s sake are all the rage, Vaccarello’s refinement is a breath of fresh air on a balmy Paris evening.