Monday 24th September

| BY Claudia Croft

Saint Laurent: Ready-to-Wear SS19

It was the violet hour in Paris when day fades to dusk and the Eiffel Tower twinkles in a dazzling hourly ritual. That signalled the start of the YSL show, held (literally) on top of the Trocadero fountains overlooking the famous landmark. The models walked on water, splashing along a partially submerged catwalk, lined with white painted palm trees (an installation by the artists Lamouroux). The look? Lean, high-waisted black trousers tucked into snakeskin boots, gaucho hats, velvet bib fronted mini dresses or tiny leather shorts and chunky platform sandals.

Anthony Vaccarello had Paloma Picasso in mind when he designed the collection. In the late sixties and early seventies, she wore eccentric vintage before it was fashionable and would delight her friend, Saint Laurent, with her flea market finds. Vaccarello paid homage with sharp-shouldered velvet or corduroy blazers and decorative Hussars jackets worn with poets blouses or little waistcoats, micro shorts and mammoth platforms.  The night – and how to dress for it – is something that Vaccarello understands better than any designer. His evening clothes were crystal dipped versions of his hot pants and blazer combinations. Vaccarello also proposed something more daring: a tiny topless party dress in chic black velvet was worn with feather nipple pasties.

A finale of models wearing draped, wrapped, twisted and cut away bodysuits (worn with sheer black tights and heels) provided a racy, body-baring alternative to the classic cocktail dress.  The show notes talked of the Saint Laurent woman as an “independent, confident, carefree, liberated, bold individual who loves to have fun and express herself.” The night belongs to her.

Photographs by Jason Lloyd-Evans.