Bon Courage

Saint Laurent delivers a portrait of a woman in her element

In part down to the moody lighting, in part to the shades but the woman who strode down the Saint Laurent catwalk signalled a sense of defiance. Wrapped in swaggering stoles, bold shouldered skirt suits, fine denier hosiery and pumps -  she appeared as an individual who demands respect for her own privacy and her own power: personal, professional, sexual - you name it.

That stance speaks volumes right now as we seek to dress with panache and with a sense of reserve. It’s a delicate balancing act as the projection of stealth wealth can so easily fall into greige anonymity. “I really wanted to bring across that idea of being dressed,” says head creative Anthony Vaccarello of his polished, elegant looks. There was plenty of back story to draw from given that Yves Saint Laurent so eloquently dressed the first generation of 80s/90s career women in the aforementioned skirt suits arming them with space creating bolstered shoulders and pencil skirts with slits engineered to allow one to walk freely and to be seen clearly.  

Hailey in YSL FW23 Double-breasted Blazer 

@haileybieber // Instagram

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“I really wanted to bring across that idea of being dressed.”

Anthony Vaccarello

Iris Law Wearing Saint Laurent at Cannes Festival

@lirisaw // Instagram

Anja Rubik in Saint Laurent

@anja_rubik // Instagram

Style icons such as Melanie Griffith, Sigourney Weaver, Grace Jones come to mind in this time warp collection that embraces I am who I am assuredness. Witness it also in the slimline cashmere wool high waisted pants, the classic lavalliere blouse and the outsize scarf draped coats; in the subdued charcoal, navy, cognac and in the sultry plaid checks. Even the silk gazar camisole and pencil skirt looks for evening (worn so well by actor Iris Law in Cannes) were firmed up with skinny buckle-belts while Le Smoking suits were shrouded in brooch pinned chiffon capes. The right accessory is a fast track to polish too. 

Vaccarello has chosen Parisian landmarks like the Eiffel Tour in the past as locations but this time he returned to the Intercontinental Hotel Ballroom, an opulent stucco and chandelier interior where Yves Saint Laurent showed every haute couture collection between 1975-2001. The carpet, the velvet drapes ensured a dramatic hush - boom: behold the lady.

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