Wednesday 25th September

| BY Claudia Croft

Saint Laurent: Ready-To-Wear SS20

The rain cascaded through beams of swiveling lights arranged in military formation. It made for a moody and atmospheric Saint Laurent show, held outside in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower. Anthony Vaccarello’s great strength is his clarity. When it comes to design, he’s a confident, concise and clear communicator. With each passage of this show he spelled out his message. Then opening looks were about shorts (micro leather hot pants, denim Bermuda cut-offs, leather Bermudas) worn with a sharp jacket – mostly in black -or a blouse open to the naval and high boots.

This leggy look clearly established – he moved on to something more romantic, referencing the famous 1976 Russian collection with golden skirts in gathered lamé, peasant blouses in glittering silks and flounced dresses. The models with scarves tied around their heads, looked like the exotic beauties of Saint Laurent’s Opium era. The finale section was devoted to another Saint Laurent signature – Le smoking. Stella Tennant opened the finale in a sparkling sequin tux. There were hot pant tuxedos, velvet, a caped and jumpsuit versions and a Bermuda shorts tux. Naomi Campbell closed the show looking glorious in a sparkling black Le smoking.

Vaccarello has made his point and later declared that if you want to buy a tuxedo there is only one house to get it from: Saint Laurent. This designer’s deft channelling of the great Yves Saint Laurent legacy has brought his message to a new generation but it’s not just young girls who look good in Saint Laurent. These sophisticated clothes play to grown-up sensibilities too.

Photographs by Jason Lloyd-Evans.