How Anthony Vaccarello Strengthened Saint Laurent

Instead, what Vaccarello does is create fashion that resonates and experiences that really move. In July, in the middle of the Agafay desert, a dusty ride that lasted more than an hour outside Marrakech, he hosted his spring 2023 menswear show. Among the attendees were talented people you shouldn’t call “celebrity,” like Steve Lacy and Dominic Fike, as well as dozens of other beautiful creatures dressed in delicate bows; soft, wide-leg pants; and at least one dark cloak that made the wearer look like a Jedi master. As the sun went down, a troupe of slim models appeared in the ghostly mist. The first wore a tuxedo with strong shoulders, no shirt, and simple black sandals. Another wore a silky white shirt with a deep neckline and long black pants blowing in the wind. Yet another wore a large faux fur coat that grazed the top of glittering black high-heeled boots.

Men’s fashion is experiencing a full-blown identity crisis—in the shifting terrain of masculinity and gender expression, and a level 5 storm of trends swirling on social media, many Designers seem confused about what their clients want, or even who they are. . In Marrakech, Vaccarello reacted with a deep urgency and clear vision. He presents clothes that speak clearly of an aspirational life of pleasure and sensuality. Clothes for men who want to feel good. It was a decisive moment in establishing the validity of his men’s line.

The audience understood well what Vaccarello set out. As the otherworldly portal of an Es Devlin sculpture that highlights the landscape returns to a dark pool in the center of the runway and the models disappear into the night, some in the audience quietly wept in silence. their shirt. “For me, it was very important to cry during a performance,” Anthony Vaccarello told me later. “I like when there is an emotion. It is extremely important to tell a story. After all, if you cry, it means you understand where I want to go, and I like that.”

Vaccarello’s emergence as a menswear force is not exactly fate. When he arrived at Saint Laurent, he had never designed a single piece of men’s clothing and his approach was initially cautious. “When I started making menswear, it was more important what I was wearing back then. So that’s kind of selfish, I have to say. Maybe too real,” he said. One of the designers he wore a lot at the time was Hedi Slimane, his predecessor at Saint Laurent. Slimane is a hard act to follow, especially for those new to menswear. “I felt pressure to start with menswear, because he used to make menswear, and he used to do menswear very well,” says Vaccarello, who wears an African jacket almost every day. fair black leather designed by Slimane for Saint Laurent. “That’s why it took me so long to find my own language.” He didn’t hold his first indie men’s show until 2018, and even then, the ensemble set off a vibe—think Viper Room’s routine with its attitude. bad — set up by Slimane. Vaccarello’s confident and long-legged womenswear was received with fanfare, while his menswear was seen as a more re-thought product.

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