Brand spanking new. Saint Laurent, that is. Or should we say YSL? Because the Y was back, as we learnt courtesy of the large neon light outside of the venue. Anyway, by brand spanking new we are not just referring to the clothes, because, well, they tend to be at fashion shows, but the designer. Yes, unless you have been residing under a large Internet-free rock you will know that this was Anthony Vaccarello’s very first, and much anticipated, collection for the Parisian house. And, as debuts go, this was Spice Girls, Wannabe proportions of debut. Aka, very very good. Because, for SS17, Mr Vaccarello was not weighed down by Yves Saint Laurent’s rich (and fairly intimidating) design history (though influences were there if you looked closely enough, like a tattered Moroccan, carpet refashioned into a matador-style jacket worn by Edie Campbell) but instead, he chose to focus on what he called the attitude of the YSL lady. An attitude that has, through various designers, remained. So what was his interpretation? Sexy. Yes, this was, right down to the asymmetric leather dress that revealed a single nipple pasty, an exercise in raw, high octane sexuality – peek-a-boo sheer layers, a hemline that skimmed the upper thigh, slicks of leather. It was sort of like a eighties, Paul Verhoven power heroine, all by way of the decade’s puffed-sleeves, draped metallic fabrics and the kind of amped-up prom dresses that closed the show. All combined with a smattering of boyish denim and a slew of perfect black tailoring, because, well, occasionally a lady needs to do something else than party. What else? Well, the shoes. Fuck, the shoes. The heel? A perfectly formed YSL logo. Which means that yes, the Y is, most definitely, back. Because this was a fresh beginning – a new, exhilarating take on an old house. May Mr Vaccarello’s reign be long and fruitful. Which, judging by this, looks pretty certain.
Photographs by Jason Lloyd-Evans