A WHITE T-SHIRT tucked into a pair of black flute pants, belted high at the waist. There’s nothing particularly revolutionary about this look — we’ve all worn a variation of it at one point or another. But of all the looks that made up Saint Laurent’s spring 2024 collection — and there were 50 of them in total — this sharp, simple ensemble tells you everything you need to know about the brand’s current cachet. Which, increasingly, stems from its unmistakable and somewhat impenetrable silhouette.
Over the past few seasons, Saint Laurent creative director Anthony Vaccarello has been on somewhat of a mission: to bridge the aesthetic gap between his men’s and women’s collections. “I really want them to be almost one person. So women could be the men, and the men could be the women,” he told journalists after his autumn 2023 show in January. “No difference. I want more and more to put them at the same level. No distinction.”
If this season wasn’t a total eclipse of that distinction, Vaccarello is getting pretty close. Just like he did with his last men’s collection, for spring 2024 Vaccarello used his most recent women’s collection as a launchpad of sorts. Unveiled in Berlin, inside German-American architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s modernist masterpiece Neue Nationalgalerie Deep, we saw scooping necklines, silk tops with long, floaty, bridal-esque trains and oversized blazers with eighties-style shoulders carried over from hers to his. But paired with sharp black trousers, they assumed a new, unconventional air of masculine power on the Saint Laurent man.
On top, it was all softness — draped one-shoulder tops and weightless sheer blouses seemed impervious to the tug of gravity, while even the crisp white shirts that popped from beneath black dinner jackets contained an element of lightness. The collection’s austerity, meanwhile, came from its knife-like shoulders and precisely tailored pants. Vaccarello’s trousers were box pleated and sharp, while his broad-shouldered blazers and tuxedo jackets were wonderfully severe. Soft interior, hard exterior. It is a seductive duality, especially when explored through the quintessentially French lens of Saint Laurent.
Which brings us back to silhouette. Today, whether it’s on a red carpet or, should you happen to know a Saint Laurent fan, in real life, there’s no mistaking those razor sharp shoulders and languid shirting, elegantly swallowed by the rim of perfectly fitted trousers. So dialled is the look that most fashion observers could trace it back to Vaccarello’s Saint Laurent.
Backstage, the designer confirmed his overarching intention, not just for this season but in general, too. “When you leave the show, I want you to have the silhouette clearly in your head.”
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