The location for Anthony Vaccarello’s comeback Saint Laurent menswear show couldn’t have been more befitting. The fashion pack was driven an hour outside Marrakech to the Agafay desert, where they were seated in a ringed amphitheatre envisioned by British artist Es Devlin, where an impressive light-up ring emerged from a pond of water upon the show’s finale – all set against a seemingly infinite dusk sky.
Vaccarello’s shows for the house have never been short of spectacle. One season after the next, the glistening Eiffel Tower has backdropped his womenswear collections, and while the world was trapped indoors during lockdowns, his blockbuster trip to glaciers far north served as a soothing balm for fashion fans itching to escape the confines of their own homes.
Equally as impressive, his Marrakech excursion was particularly significant. The city was a haven for Yves Saint Laurent and his partner Pierre Bergé, first visiting in 1966, where they stayed at La Mamounia. (Fittingly, the show’s guests were also invited to stay at the now refurbished hotel for the show.) Purchasing property in the city, the pair would seek refuge in Marrakech for its “easier rhythm of life” compared to Paris. The founder quickly began to find inspiration from his day-to-day in his second home, be it the hues of the city’s landscape or the louche, easy-going stylings shared between men and women.
Such codes were transferred to Vaccarello’s SS23 offering, which set out to “elegantly dissolve” the constraints between masculine and feminine dress. This ethos translated to tuxedos in typically feminine cuts; broad at the shoulder, nipped in at the waist, worn alongside wide leg trousers, pointed Cuban-heeled boots and wispy, semi-sheer pussy-bow blouses. 50 looks strong, the show had more in common with Vaccarello’s AW22 womenswear collection than clichéd summer wardrobe tropes.
The designer spoke of not only being inspired by Saint Laurent’s legacy, but his own youth too. He called it his “most personal collection” yet; a love letter to his everyday uniform as a student at Brussels’ La Cambre through the 2000s. Diving into his childhood chest of drawers did the trick, with the sun-kissed outing proving to be one of Vaccarello’s strongest yet.
Photography courtesy of Saint Laurent.