Three takeaways from Saint Laurent’s autumn-winter 2017 fashion show by Anthony Vaccarello

The new Saint Laurent look is feminine, but more bold and self-assured - and its creative director isn’t afraid to veer towards bad taste or challenge gender norms

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 01 March, 2017, 1:45pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 01 March, 2017, 1:45pm

In his second outing for Saint Laurent, Anthony Vaccarello proved he is up to the job of leading the French fashion house – he embraced the legacy of Hedi Slimane but expanded upon it too. These were the three themes that leapt out from his show of Saint Laurent’s autumn-winter 2017 collection in Paris.

A radical feminine fantasy

Leggy fetish cocktail numbers and intense black velvet evening pieces were empowering, and showed how much has changed at Saint Laurent. Gone are the grungy baby dolls and emaciated glam rock looks.

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Shoulders are sharp, evening pieces mingle with utilitarian outerwear such as a laser-cut flight-jacket dress with shearling inside. The general attitude and style of the new Saint Laurent is still feminine, but more provocative and feline, more bold and self-assured.

Puss in boots bling

Vaccarello is known for projecting a femininity that flirts with bad taste: think crystal-studded ruched boots and statement pieces indecently embroidered with sparkly crystals. “I love Monsieur Saint Laurent’s subversive approach to the clothes, his dark romanticism with a hint of perversity,” wrote Vaccarello in the show notes. Add 1980s new wave and exaggerated leather ruffles and you get a sultry evening wear collection that wouldn’t look out of place in Fifty Shades of Grey.

Mixed gender is the new black

Several of fashion’s heavy hitters, including Kenzo and Gucci, have experimented with presenting womenswear and menswear in a single catwalk show. (Almost) gone are the boundaries between femininity and masculinity, a trend Vaccarello embraced with a collection that explored men’s feminine traits and women’s masculine side.