Saint Laurent Men’s SS22: A Blast From the Past
The collection leaned heavily on the 70s and 80s but the runway is balanced with a futuristic set installation by Doug Aitken.
In July, Anthony Vaccarello unveiled his Spring/Summer 2022 menswear collection for Saint Laurent. The show took place on Venice’s island of La Certosa, which was a short boat ride from the centre of the city. References to the brand’s archive of the 70s and 80s anchor the collection and it juxtaposed with the futuristic set installation by artist Doug Aitken.
The July evening saw celebrity guests such as Hailey Bieber, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Anja Rubik and others attending. All of them decked in Saint Laurent and were photographed in black-and-white — a signature of the brand now.
“A fantasy on a Victorian dark romance” was how Vaccarello described the lineup. The ensemble of clothes consisted of ruffled open-collared shirts, billowing blouses slashed to show the chest, dainty pussy bows and flowy capes. These aesthetic elements, clearly borrowed from the brand’s long history as a couture house, further blurred the lines between femininity and masculinity.
The fabric used to make these Gothic pieces included velvet, jacquards and delicate laces. On the opposite end, these materials were paired with metallic babouche slippers and highly-pointed leather sabatons — not losing the Rock ‘n’ Roll appeal that Vaccarello is known for. The burst of jewel-tone hues also provided a playful levity to the collection.
As mentioned earlier, the set was created to counterbalance the “vintage-y” flair of the collection and the artist used mirrors to achieve this contrast. Within the installation there were plants and the foliage created a kaleidoscopic visual treat. The structure is called, “Green Lens”, and it aimed to highlight the fluid relationship human beings have with nature and was also part of the Venice Biennale Architecture exhibition.
“The idea of the structure is about the desire to look at the future without forgetting the past and the history and the same is for the collection, which is mixing past and present and projecting it into the future,” Vaccarello said in his press notes. He intended his clothes to do the same well — to reflect the era but also refracting to come up with something new for society.
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