How hot must an electric fan heater be, if its effects can be felt en plein air? As I sat underneath a blanket, distributed by the design house, this was one of the main questions that crossed my mind. That and ... 'why aren't we inside?' With their new home still being under major renovations, Saint Laurent's nighttime show venue was a white neon lit scaffolded construction in a building site.
A black model with braided hair exited the runway in a black PVC ruched dress and matching boots. Things then got off to a flying start - pun intended - with aviator shearling hybrids, as sculptural cocktail dresses, with upright conical shoulder shapes, set for the skies. Huge oversized red roses were worn on the neck as chokers and added a romantic yet surrealist bend.
Wrapping in general seemed to be a thing. Prehistoric Barbarella style references arrived via swagged brown leather dresses. As the shearlings continued to arrive in the guise of barely there cropped jackets and more sensible classic versions, one thing was clear: 'the shearling' is this house's new biker jacket.
With multi racial casting, seventies references and lots of ready-to-hit 'the streets' boots, this collection had somewhat of a connection with the mood at Marc Jacobs this season. It also celebrated Yves Saint Laurent's love for the beauty of women of all races and culture. Ruffles that enlarged the form saw cloth cut away from the body. A lot more inclusive and freerer than Hedi Slimane's silhouettes and style - black PVC pants not permitting - the references might have been no less retro, but some modernity was present here today. It all felt very Yves.
A nice daywear style section didn't feel too normcore nonchalant. It just looked wearable. A waxed parka or a bomber jacket worn with some plain slacks was alternated with looks comprising of crystal embellished silk mini dresses. The pagoda shoulder made an appearance. But so did chiffon bishop sleeved blouses complete with trailing ribbons. The gothic. The street. The club. It was all here. The liquid PVC at the end of the show was so reflective you could have used it as a mirror. Girls then emerged as if wrapped up in cellophane sweet wrappers. Aggressively glamorous, the music pounded, the wind machines hurled out smoke and the rain flew across the catwalk.
A finale comprised of a new line up. They were like maximalist toiles. Sort of similar to the time when Galliano bought out finale toile versions of his collection, a few seasons ago, this seemed less about celebrating process - and more about driving home the essentialism of timeless glamour. The crystal monochrome looks saw gems precisely mark out and highlight lapels, seams, ruffles and panels. Graphically spliced and diced, crystals highlighted the gravity defying feats of these angular proposals. Vaccarello is here to make an impact, for sure. He's here to own the little black dress. And the crystal smothered knee high boot...