Anthony Vaccarello is wasting no time carrying out his vision at Saint Laurent. This season he paints a dark romantic picture with mastery strokes in lace, leather and hypnotising rhinestones that pay homage to the maison’s founder.

Vaccarello showed more than 100 looks for his second collection as creative director of the heritage maison – dotted with a few menswear looks.

Instead of sending models down the runway with looks they’d just shown, Vaccarello’s clan dazzled in a new line-up of evening wear - featuring hypnotising crystal-encrusted details - cue the cable knit sweater and ruched knee-high boots that have (almost) broken the internet.

Ambitious? Yes, and he’s got all the reasons too. While the brand has reported soaring sales, its new headquarters on Rue de Bellechasse - under construction and where the autumn/winter 2017 show was presented - will be completed next year.

I love Monsieur Saint Laurent’s subversive approach to clothes, his dark romanticism with a hint of perversity. I wanted this collection to be like a re-reading, a radical fantasy of this heritage.
Anthony Vaccarello, creative director, Saint Laurent

Like his predecessors, Vaccarello paid tribute to Yves Saint Laurent by taking inspiration from his vast archive. One of the looks turned the act up a notch - a black velvet mini dress featuring sequined purple flower embroidery via Lesage that was commissioned by Yves Saint Laurent himself.

“I love Monsieur Saint Laurent’s subversive approach to clothes, his dark romanticism with a hint of perversity,” says Vaccarello. “I wanted this collection to be like a re-reading, a radical fantasy of this heritage.”

Vaccarello took a radical approach to update the heritage elements – think his signature asymmetrical silhouettes, dramatic and structured shoulder details and rhinestone-encrusted details melded with the house’s iconic le smoking style.

The party-ready dresses will make their way into the wardrobes of the “It” girls Kate Moss, Anja Rubik and Zoe Kravitz who were seated in the front row. These are the leading ladies that have inspired Vaccarello to “explore the paradoxes and tensions of contemporary Saint Laurent feminity”.

Anthony Vaccarello’s debut is the beginning of a new era for Saint Laurent

Apart from the directional pieces that ooze editorial appeal, luxury basics from shearling jackets to denim, knits, tank tops and sheering lace shirts make a sizeable chunk of the collection. Looks featuring leathers, suede and shearling opened the show, which demonstrated the maison’s expert know-how in manipulating materials.

Now that Vaccarello’s figuring out how to continue the house’s legacy and tapping new-generation customers, I am curious what his next move will be.

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