Urban Safari

Stripped back and in humble cotton, Anthony Vaccarello’s essentialist collection for Saint Laurent champions the brilliance of utility

By Harriet Quick

Back in the heady days of 1967, Yves Saint Laurent first debuted his safari look – la saharienne – to an audience enraptured by the designer’s reimagining’s of men’s wear for women. The khaki gabardine jacket and trouser combo sported by la jeunesse-doree and Yves himself, became a hit in urban environments with its message of big adventure: social and sexual.

With smart timing, Anthony Vaccarello is now reclaiming the YSL icon as a new classic for 2024 with the khaki, cotton and big utility pockets playing well to our taste for purpose driven style. Vaccarello (champion of extreme tailoring) wanted a collection that featured no tailoring at all but instead focussed on everyday essentials. “I think there’s a lot of very busy things right now. I want for Saint Laurent to go back to something very clean and basic, and start a new chapter in a way,” said Vaccarello who is aiming to combat the prevailing winds of overwhelm.

Anja Rubik, Eva Herzigova and Mica Argañaraz at YSL SS24

@anja_rubik // Instagram

Lee patent-leather slingback pumps

@charlotteslawrence // Instagram

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Yet basic does not equal banal – rather more it’s a lesson in style and glamour redux. Cue fifty-year-old Eva Herzigova in a strapless black flying suit, geometric trophy earrings, cutaway aviators, leather gloves and slingback heels wearing a look that signalled ‘I fly my own route.’ The belted flying suit, cut with flaring sleeves and wide legs was a standout. Wear with boots or heels throughout many an eventful day and ditto the cargo skirts and sheer vests (topped with an Amelia Earhart aviator’s leather helmet).  Those sun-dried shades of khaki, tamarind and cocoa; the zippers and buttons speak volumes to our desire for fuss free style. Plus, it all looks good a little crumpled too…but that’s another adventure.

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