Things are looking a bit different at Saint Laurent. Since announcing that the fashion house will not be taking part in the pre-set fashion calendar schedules this year, there were discussions and thoughts on how creative director Anthony Vaccarello would envision that new formula to be for the spring/summer 2021 season—the press announcement in April was vague at best.
No Matter How Long The Night Is is Vaccarello's first foray into a project that's curated across both digital and physical formats. Prior to the launch on 9 September, street posters, stickers on postboxes, photo walls, billboards and pastel-gradient flags were set up in various cities such as Tokyo, Los Angeles and Paris. The multi-city approach is reflected in the collection's six-minute short film as well.
Set against a twilight sky in the beginning, the film features cameos by actor Justice Smith and Saint Laurent ambassador Charlotte Gainsbourg. But it's the cast of deftly parkour-skilled models—in Saint Laurent by Anthony Vaccarello spring/summer 2021—that were the highlight. Running across rooftops and jumping from one building to another in Paris, New York and Beijing, the models seemed drawn to a particular locale that's been a major part of Vaccarello's Saint Laurent: the Eiffel Tower. The culmination of the film ends with a mini runway on the tower's first platform, as if to say that no matter how long it takes, we'll be back again in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower for another Saint Laurent runway show.
Look and feel: There has always been glimpses of former creative director Hedi Slimane in Saint Laurent. Slimane is a force and the aesthetic that he's set for the fashion house is quite a task to shake off. But of late, Vaccarello has managed to craft an image that's more attuned to what Yves Saint Laurent himself would have done. There's been a shift towards more languid and free-flowing silhouettes since the spring/summer 2020 collection and that has carried through to spring/summer 2021. Light layers punctuated with printed kaftan-like shirts, feathered blousons with straw hats, and statement textured jackets paired with intricately patterned, pleated trousers—the collection is a strong mix of opulence and elegance marked by a wearable ease.
Favourite looks: Look 6's beautifully knitted cardigan is the kind of artfully crafted piece you'd want to keep forever. The different textures and colours alone in that single piece is one to behold. Look 12's louche styling of a towelling wrap jacket over a subtly printed pair of trousers is also a stunner. For a tailored option, we're gravitating towards the off-white jacquard suiting in look 18. We hardly do see Vaccarello design anything other than deep and dark when it comes to tailoring, so this does feel like a a breakout from the usual fare. But of course, worn with a black-and-white polka dot shirt and a dark floral scarf.
Favourite accessories: A key standout is the collection's series of belts with a skinny C-shaped buckle as seen on looks 4, 7, 10 and more. Coming in various widths, leather treatments as well as hardware colours, we're aiming for one to wear with everything from denim jeans to formal high-waist trousers as a subtle accent to top off any look.