MANIFESTO

#63

CHANGE OF SPACE

RADICAL FLUIDITY

2022.09.28

Text by Guia Ortolani

Saint Laurent new collection is defined by radical fluidity and flexuous elegance in a spectacular contemporary celebration of the woman’s body. For the occasion, Anthony Vaccarello draws on the creative discourse of the great dancer Martha Graham and explores the 1980s archives of Monsieur Saint Laurent.

The inspiration for Vaccarello’s new collection is the 1930 choreography Lamentation, by the great dancer Martha Graham, where her body was wrapped from head to toe in a tubular sheath, transferring a visual spectacle that had, and still has, an enormous impact on visual culture and fashion; this echoes through the collection, and is evident in the diaphanous, hooded chiffon dresses that Saint Laurent made in collaboration with Claude Lalanne in 1969, and in the unforgettable modernity of the Spring Summer Haute Couture 1985 show. Indeed, the 1980s is Vaccarello’s reference for this spring, recalling the time when models sported Monsieur Saint Laurent draped hooded gowns. A flexuous elegance, in  juxtaposition between the delicacy of the long wrap-around dresses and the strength of the wide shoulders of the jackets. Through an intense discourse on power dressing, the silhouette also recalls Grace Jones in her portrayal of May Day, with her various hooded looks, including one in particular by Azzedine Alaïa, for the 1985 James Bond film “A View to a Kill”.

“It’s my interpretation of freedom, the colour and attitude of Saint Laurent in Martha Graham’s jersey tube.”

– Anthony Vaccarello

The body is revealed and concealed, with a result at once erotic and evanescent, in a spectacular contemporary celebration of the woman’s body. All elevated by a magnificent color palette, muted yet sumptuous: light browns, purple, camel, olive and taupe, shades that recall Saint Laurent’s most iconic moments. The collection is characterized by radical fluidity, expressed in silk jersey knits. Floor-length dresses evoke an elegant ease, balanced by masculine outerwear that is quintessentially Saint Laurent by Vaccarello: wool coats with strong shoulders, leather bomber jackets and trench coats, and silk pajamas. A sheer camisole dress, cashmere pants and satin looks exemplify the sophisticated lightness that runs through the show, juxtaposed with powerful sculptural jewelry in wood and gold. The legs, which are sometimes glimpsed, are bare, but hidden by a column silhouette and sublimated by hardly-there sandals (in contrast to the statuesque line of the coats) and satin pumps in shimmering metallic hues. The setting of the fashion is, as usual, the Trocadéro basin, in front of the Eiffel Tower. The terraces, fountains and views of the iridescent city are the magical backdrop for Vaccarello’s evolving vision.

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