A House still ‘Under Construction? Some thoughts on Saint Laurent Fall 2017 collection by A.Vaccarello.

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Anthony Vaccarello’s second fashion show for Saint Laurent took place in the House’s  new headquarters on Rue de Bellechasse –  still under construction and where the autumn/winter 2017 show was presented,a reference both to the post-apocalyptic scenography of the place and a semiotic hint to the ‘ construction’ the brand has been into after the depart of Hedi Slimane and the appoint of Mr Vaccarello as a creative director.

“I love Monsieur Saint Laurent’s subversive approach to clothes, his dark romanticism with a hint of perversity,” the show notes read. “I wanted this collection to be like a re-reading, a radical fantasy of this heritage.”  Re-reading in terms of producing autonomous meaning is a hard task to do,even in fashion design.So it was Vaccarello himself that set the limit high-and that is something to be admired.He send down the catwalk a series of ‘luxury’ pieces,80s-style cocktail dresses made of everything from leather to vinyl, velvet and chiffon as well as ‘luxury staples’, well-tailored coats,crystal-encrusted sweaters and leather pants in a palette that mostly ranged from black/white to cognac.

The collection was based on Yves Saint Laurent’s vast archive,mostly based on late 70’s and 80’s styles, re worked by Anthony Vaccarello’s own ‘sex -and-glamour’ codes.It was a clear reference,an influence,a ‘take’ yes,but all before didn’t actually manage to radically produce ‘new meaning’ or a fresh,2017 silhouette for Saint Laurent. In fact i feel it was more Vaccarello’s figuring out how to continue the house’s legacy AND tapping new-generation customers,with the ‘re-reading’ of the House’s dna somehow being lost in translation.In fact the whole collection was initially inspired by one particular dress, an haute couture one which dates from the early ’80s. “I always relate YSL to parties, to evening,” Vaccarello said backstage. “I couldn’t do a show without those golden years, but I wanted to take that further.”.

This was Vaccarello’s moment and i feel he missed it.After a debut collection loosely referential to 80’s Yves Saint Laurent,Hedi Slimane’s rock chic chicks and his own take on sex-appeal,he found himself reworking,’rereading’ the same ‘core influences’ just on a larger scale, aiming to create new meaning/silhouettes from old verbs..It was a case lost from the beginning.

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