17th December 2020

Saint Laurent Womenswear S/S2021 Show

Saint Laurent closes out 2020 with a newly redefined outlook for 2021. By Venetia Tyler

The Saint Laurent show on Tuesday was presented as a hypnotic film by Anthony Vaccarello’s creative accomplice Nathalie Canguilhern titled ‘I Wish You Were Here’.  Showcasing the summer collection, the display was an eye-catching exhibition of free movement, soft silhouettes, and an exercise in chic.  It may have come as a surprise to some that Vaccarello’s decision to round off the hard edges was a significantly visible one in the collection.  Not only has he been labelled the master of lean lines, but it was only 10 months ago that hard-cut edges, strong-shouldered tailoring and slick constructed latex was on display in similar sand dunes in the February show earlier this year.  But, with the world still in a global pandemic, it felt right to the designer to pay tribute to 2020 life in and out of lockdown and adapting to leisure wear and comfort:

With everything that was going on in the world, I wanted something softer, warmer.  The desert, to me, symbolises that yearn for serenity, open space, a slower rhythmAnthony Vaccarello, Creative Director, Saint Laurent

The open landscape of a limitless horizon felt a world away from the current troubles of cosmopolitan city life.  The designer captured the essence of the freedom of movement in the fresh air of outside living, and elements of liberation and serenity were displayed in the show with an array of pure and soft shapes; through either the loose-fitted silk blouse or the vareuse with spacious pockets.  It was a refreshing and immersive experience, which comes as something of a relief; contrasting to, and effectively deconstructing the four walls of our respective rooms to which we have become so familiar with lately.

The striking desert setting was perhaps a deliberate decision on Vaccarello’s part to acknowledge Yves Saint Laurent’s Algerian birthplace.  However, the designer chose to leave this conclusion up to the audience’s imagination during a phone call only a few days earlier where he played ambiguous about the precise whereabouts of the show’s location.

The elegant chiffon pieces and thick jersey jumpers gave clear nods to the Sixties; a decade filled with transition, uncertainty and change, just like today.  Vaccarello chose to capture more than this, though, as transitions are also associated with hope and new paths.  This new collection was, perhaps, a wish to connect to the optimism of previous decades as a way of re-starting this new one; offering his own interpretations of positivity as we start to finally consider a new, post-pandemic future.


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