Perhaps the quintessential couture brand for masculine-meets-feminine style, YSL is a label beloved by women around the globe. For the spring/summer 2020 collection, designer Anthony Vaccarello displayed a stunning array of pieces that paid homage to the brand's founder and its legacy over many decades.
One can hardly think of menswear fashion for women without conjuring images of Yves St. Laurent's Le Smoking jackets. Not to disappoint, Vaccarello created several new, updated versions of this coveted classic for the current season. From cropped to sequined, to oversized lapels and matching pant suits, the collection encompassed the chic, tailored look beautifully.
Unlike traditional suits of the past, many in this year's assortment were paired with micro shorts (think ultra mini). The juxtaposition of a suit jacket with an itty-bitty pair of shorts was the perfect fresh take on an eternal style. With models including Kaia Gerber donning the looks, it's easy to see why Millennials are flocking to this brand like never before. Boxy jackets complemented the belted versions, offering a versatility where women can choose how to style the piece.
There was also a theme of cowboy chic throughout the show, with models wearing prairie dresses, Western-inspired boots and knee-high cowboy boots. The knee-high trend was present throughout many couture shows this season, arguing whether the ankle boot is on its way back out again. Like the smoking suit, prairie dress styles are another signature for the brand, updated today for a more modern look.
Vaccarello has been known to bring a sense of rocker edge to the label as of late, yet the spring/summer 2020 collection felt a bit softer than previous seasons. Still, the use of high impact designs and fabrics let viewers know exactly what they were watching. He beautifully interwove elements like gold embroidery, big belts for a waist-defining look, and Betty Catroux sunglasses for the ideal dose of boldness and attitude.
While other brands traveled back in time for their inspirations this season, Dior stayed right here in the present, giving us a kick of 20th century flair. Instead of taking a literal interpretation of yesteryear, Vaccarello took heritage pieces and revitalized them for today. The show finished with a highly anticipated walk from veteran supermodel Naomi Campbell, whose participation in the line up proves that this is a brand for women of all ages. The stunner wore a two-piece black sequined suit, a showstopper in a sea of incredible pieces.
Set against a glittering backdrop complete with the Eiffel Tower, models strutted a runway fit for the best of the best when it comes to high end fashion. The scenery was beautiful, the models in understated glam (barely there makeup), and the clothing on full display. Let's face it, when we see the YSL logo, especially on a killer pair of black stilettos, there's nothing more fabulous. Saint Laurent lives on as a status symbol for couture.
Born in Algeria, haute couture designer Yves Saint Laurent moved to Paris at age 18 to realize his childhood passion of designing clothing. At the ripe age of 21 he was appointed position of head designer at the House of Dior. In 1962 he showed his own brand’s first collection with actress Catherine Deneuve as its mascot. As an art enthusiast and expert in color and material, YSL introduced art-inspired, unorthodox styles into couture fashion (e.g., 1965's Mondrian Collection and 1966's Pop Art Collection in which he translated paintings onto dress fabric). YSL became widely recognised for blending borders between art, fashion, and sexual representation. He pioneered a fusion of sexuality and androgyny; safari jackets and tuxedo suits unconventionally tailored for women (read: "Le Smoking”), juxtaposed with long, graceful evening dresses. The glamour of Yves Saint Laurent lies in the diversion from traditional forms and the empowerment it bestows on women. In S/S 2013, Hedi Slimane showed his first collection as the brand’s newly appointed Design Director. The brand’s name was changed from Yves Saint Laurent to Saint Laurent, and Slimane—staying true to form—continues to advocate androgynous nature under the Saint Laurent name.