Saint Laurent Fall Ready-to-Wear 2021

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.