Wednesday 26th February

| BY Claudia Croft

Saint Laurent: Ready-to-wear AW20

Saint Laurent is a house that does everything at scale. The vast show space, which looked like a mirrored Borg cube, reflected the twinkling Eiffel Tower back at it. Inside the superstructure, a pristine, white carpeted tunnel formed the catwalk.

Squelchy French electro blared as the first girls stepped onto the catwalk. A tartan blazer with gold buttons and a silk pussy bow blouse telegraphed bourgeois respectability. But a pair of high shine rubber leggings, worn with it, brought something altogether more subversive to the YSL party. Exit after exit followed suit: haute bourgeois blazers – beautifully cut in banana yellow, grey with a velvet collar or tan and black (the colours and the gold/ buttoned styling of  them harked back to the YSL era of the 1980s and 1990s) – but all worn with provocative high shine pieces or seductive lingerie. One model walked the runway in just a basque and a tailored coat. Another, crop-haired blonde in drainpipe oil-slick leggings and a sequin top looked like Edwige Belmore, who guarded the door of Le Palace nightclub during the era when Warhol, Grace Jones and Mr Saint Laurent partied there.

Anthony Vaccarello mined the YSL archives of that era for plump feather chubbies, ankle strap heels and bold gold jewellery. It was hedonistic, provocative, full of sass and sexuality. The Saint Laurent woman – then and now –has always revelled in her freedom.

Photographs by Jason Lloyd-Evans.