The radical elan of Art Deco, which has always guarded a special place in Yves Saint Laurent’s universe, permeates the Winter 2022 women’s collection. The reference is not literal, informing the show more in essence and overall outline than in direct quotations. Anthony Vaccarello got inspired by Nancy Cunard, the independent-minded activist publisher who dressed audaciously ahead of her time, who gave a masculine wardrobe her own indelible imprint; and found his own accent to take Cunard’s intrepid ethos and embed it in our contemporary codes through fresh proportions and a considered languid silhouette defined by structured tension. The signature pieces of the house take on a dramatic new shape enveloping a long fluid line underneath. Yves Saint Laurent outerwear items are at the core and morph from paletot-style coats, to flawless black tuxedos and narrow leather coats, that attenuate downward, paired with flute-like dresses in delicate fabrics. Volume is shifted for a strong sloped shoulder, while fluttering flashes of transparency and unexpected footwear add lightness. A subtle and strict use of color further enhance the powerful essentiality of the collection and Saint Laurent sheer magnitude. Anthony Vaccarello proved to be confident enough for fresh innovation and yet capable of honouring the Maison timeless codes and quality. We can’t deny falling for his recent hints of sexiness, micros proportions and high heels, but this cool ease the Creative Director turned to is something we were waiting to abandon to.
“A subdued matte palette hints at a moment of reflection. Proving that restraint need not be joyless, this is a quietly poetic showing, shot through with bursts of unabashed resolve and verve.”