The return to the Eiffel Tower for Saint Laurent seemed surreal. This was a flashback to a distant February of that infamous year: the street of the Place de Varsovie at the Trocadero choked up with onlookers, photographers and arriving guests, walking up into the Fontaine de Trocadero, rendered unrecognisable again for the set of the show. After many seasons that Saint Laurent has opted for digital presentations, it means something that we made it here, overcoming all the uncertainties and disruptions of the pandemic age, back to a Saint Laurent show against the backdrop of a glittering Eiffel Tower at night – and back on the official schedule – where it feels like it belongs.
And just like things being where they should be, Spring/Summer 2020 is a collection walking to Saint Laurent’s highest maxims, according to Anthony Vaccarello: razor sharp tailoring to cut your teeth on, skin tight leggings ending on needle point stilettos – how models managed to walk in these on the wet runway was another touch of Saint Laurent magic – and 70’s flared jeans worn with sky-high stiletto platforms that made models legs go on for days. Bringing sexy back has become the leitmotif of the season, but Vaccarello has been staunchly consistent in this quarter.
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The collection, inspired by Paloma Picasso’s independence of spirit, is an ode to emancipation and a call to subversive seduction. A celebration of a woman who is singular in every way, effortlessly inventive in every aspect of her appearances, always projecting a studied nonchalance; a woman who associates the masculine with the glamourous.
At the end of the show, the structure at the centre of the Trocadero Fountain erupted in a waterfall. Perhaps nothing could make the sense of physical presence more visceral, than for the audience to be splashed at the finale.
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