Words Adrian Glass
Anthony Vaccarello’s film inspired odyssey continues on, with nature as his backdrop these pandemic induced digital viewings have been a persistent showcase of 2020 that under the Saint Laurent banner, Vaccarello’s continued interest of the 1970s and early 1980s starlet – even before the viral contagion rescheduled fashion weeks and canceled runway shows, has become even more magnified. One of the emerging trends for 2021 is the avant-grade, which replaced, rather quickly, the modernism themes of 2018 and 2019, yet what is also becoming clear as a definitive motif of the main fashion houses is the experimentation with film. With Celine’s Hedi Slimane and Nicolas Ghesquière of Louis Vuitton also exploring cinematographic stylizations, noted with Ghesquière’s muse for Louis Vuitton Pre-Fall 2021 collection was the actress Stacy Martin. This set piece of melding the motion picture with fashion has been utilized before, but not on the grand scale that Vaccarello and his peers have recently established.
But, it is Vaccarello’s experimentation with the capricious woman that is the most intriguing, playing around with both the ambitious femme fatale and its duality of dupable innocence. The heyday of stardom and celebrity expectations that arose from 20th-century hedonism, more so, from the 1970s and early 1980s, rings true as an imprinted aesthetic of the famed fashion house. Which, under the guise of the late Yves Saint Laurent, did indeed exude the lavished excess that was clearly aimed at the fustian desires that so many in its past resonation and vain hopes, attempted to taste. This is Vaccarello’s homage to such an era, taking the said themes and placing them onto wintry and barren landscapes, his Fall 2021 collection is indeed a testament to its ghostlike setting.
Titled “Where the Silver Wind Blows”, the ethereal and dreamy sequences which were shot at various European locations, offer an insight into Vaccarello’s aesthetic inclinations that have elements of the avant-garde within its sombre resolve, which do not have to hold an emotionally negative degree. Rather, as Vaccarello has explained in show notes and commentary to his Fall 2021 collection, that he is at awe with nature, as the models walk within these natural landscapes, to which humanity, when compared against nature as a powerful entity, overshadows our hopes and dreams. And by its definition, nature is indifferent to humanity, yet we are part of it and it is part of us. Or, is this place, a Gehenna, a vision, of the many hopefuls, that as apparitions have passed through and at the eleventh hour have finally let go.
However, the vagarious sex appeal of Vaccarello’s looks unapologetically shine through, mixing and matching time-lines between the 70s and 80s of its epicureanism, with mini skirts, thigh-high boots, it was the tail end of the 1960s when the dream of revolution was replaced by sexual excess. Faux and real furs, open blouses and plunging necklines, crop tops and sheer underlays maintain Vaccarello’s affair with the eros. Also noted are the one piece high cut leotards that reflect the Studio 54 days of ‘snow’, late night dancing and sex, with slight influences from Yves Saint Laurent’s 1976 Cossack collection. Vaccarello’s latest ensemble feels more intensified than previous collections, with some of the softer and flowing looks replaced with a defined focus, an unbridled passion. Maybe, in defiance of this natural construct and its unyielding predicaments, the amorous is all we have.
View the full collection in the slideshow below.