Saint Laurent is one of the fashion brands that best capture the spirit of Parisian style. Seductive, mysterious, chic and edgy, the brand continues to command attention and captivate every eye.
COURTESY OF BRANDS
The memory of Saint Laurent is different for each generation. If you ask someone in her 60s, the brand is the birth of Haute Couture glamour, and it evokes memories of Le Smoking tuxedo-style suit and the Mondrian Collection of dresses inspired by abstract paintings. If you ask someone in her 50s, she might think of jackets thickly embroidered with Vincent Van Gogh’s irises and sunflowers. Ask those in their 40s and they’ll speak of the Tom Ford era with Chinese designs. Someone in her 30s will say she thinks of the romantic designs of Stefano Pilati, while 20-year-olds will think of rockers in leather jacket and skinny silhouettes during Hedi Slimane’s tenure. Teenagers today will think of the colourful, shiny boots worn by Kendall Jenner to one NBA match.
While the memories are different, it’s unanimous that this luxury brand greatly affects the fashion world and fashion trends. This is thanks to the vision of Yves Saint Laurent, the brand’s founder and the modern talents who keep Saint Laurent energetic season after season.
Yves Saint Laurent became Dior’s successor and the world’s youngest couturier at the age of 21. His first collection for Dior was called the “Trapeze” line and it was a great success that turned the business around, saving it from a financial crisis. Soon after that, he was called for military service, and on his return he felt so depressed he had to be treated in the hospital. He stopped working for Dior as a result.
He decided to pursue his passion for fashion and set up his own eponymous brand. The brand was an instant success
His passion for the brand shone bright
on the Spring-Summer 2018 show which took place
at the Trocadéro Square on a balmy night,
with the Eiffel Tower sparkling in the background.
But even without Dior, he decided to pursue his passion for fashion and set up his own eponymous brand. The brand was an instant success, as Saint Laurent became the first couturier to open a ready-to-wear boutique. His first client was French actress Catherine Deneuve, who continues to be the brand’s loyal customer today and is often spotted on the front row in most shows. During 1970s-1980s, he became a jetsetter who flew between New York and Paris to party and meet A-listers. Sometimes these wild parties were an obstruction for work, and he had to escape to Morocco to focus on his designs. The escape inspired him to design the iconic Opium perfume. However, the name chosen by Saint Laurent, with its reference to a drug from the Orient, caused a quite scandal, but that’s not the only time the designer cooked up delicious scandals for the fashion industry. Yves Saint Laurent posed naked for the release of his first perfume–a first and a shocking move in the industry at the time. After many years, he retired from being a designer, and let many new designers to reign the brand.
For this show, the future of the brand has been passed on to Italian-Belgian designer Anthony Vaccarello whose designs, as seen in his work with Versus Versace, are more brazenly sexy and sporty. With Saint Laurent, although it’s only been a few seasons, his passion for the brand shone bright on the Spring-Summer 2018 show which took place at the Trocadéro Square on a balmy night, with the Eiffel Tower sparkling in the background. The show was attended by hundreds of fashion reporters as well as thousands of passersby and visitors, generating a big buzz for the brand. That’s what the Eiffel Tower can do.
“That girl of Saint Laurent–she wants to have fun,” he said. “She’s not depressed.” That statement is reflected through around 90 models in a show that began with the hippie souvenirs of Marrakech and ended in the grand haute couture wedding dress that reflects the tradition of Saint Laurent’s atelier in Paris. The materials were floating silk, gold-coin–dot printed tulle, sparkling embroidered sequins, and bravura ostrich feathers. Extravagant tops were paired with the tiniest of shorts and skirts and an endless march of sensational boots. “I want to tell the story of Saint Laurent, of Paris–nothing more deeply than that,” said Anthony Vaccarello.
What’s your memory of Saint Laurent? Muse shoes? The seductive scent of Opium perfume? The cool and chic Sac De Jour? Whatever it might be, the edginess of this fashion brand never fails to deliver style.