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Paris Fashion Week: Anthony Vaccarello delivers the best Saint Laurent collection yet

Skirt suits were the key silhouette, and comprised big, padded shoulder blazers and slimline, knee-length and slit-front pencil skirts worn with skinny belts (Getty Images)
Skirt suits were the key silhouette, and comprised big, padded shoulder blazers and slimline, knee-length and slit-front pencil skirts worn with skinny belts (Getty Images)

He’s been evolving his vision for Saint Laurent since he took the helm in 2016 — and last night in Paris, Italian designer Anthony Vaccarello delivered his best collection to date: a supremely elegant meditation on 80s power dressing.

Skirt suits were the key silhouette, and comprised big, padded shoulder blazers and slimline, knee-length and slit-front pencil skirts worn with skinny belts. In houndstooth, pinstripe and plain wool with pocket squares, the vibe was Working Girl meets American Psycho.

The blazers then gave way to a section of voluminous, distressed leather bomber jackets styled with scoop-neck tank tops and pussybow blouses with trailing chiffon collars. The long bows of these trailed glamorously behind the models like trains.

Interrupting the otherwise muted palette was a vivid red tartan that conjured images of late 80s Diana in her plaid Belville Sassoon suiting.

Skinny black cashmere leggings were the foundation for all eveningwear. They were worn with beautiful cowl-back silk blouses and swathed blanket tops in leather, velvet and tartan chiffon affixed with golden bangle clasps.

Saint Laurent (Saint Laurent)
Saint Laurent (Saint Laurent)

Although officewear inspired, the looks — which were accessorised with hoop earrings, aviators, ruched leather gloves, and patent point-toe pumps — still oozed all the signature Saint Laurent rock and roll appeal for which the brand is loved. Not least by the likes of Dua Lipa, Olivia Wilde, Zoe Kravitz, Shalom Harlow, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Rocco Ritchie and Lila Moss. They were among the star-studded cast sat front row in the black-box show space in the Trocadero Gardens.

The venue, adjacent to the Eiffel Tower, had been hung with vast glittering golden chandeliers. This was in a nod to the ballroom of the Intercontinental Hotel, where the brand had presented its couture collections from 1975 to 2001. The air had even been laced with the heady fragrance of an expensive hotel.

As we search for a wardrobe in which to weather these complex times, functional, practical clothes have emerged as a theme across the board this season. Not only do Vaccarello’s big-shouldered, svelte-skirt suits feel at once powerful and practical, but their 80s roots also semaphore a simpler, pre-internet time that holds instant appeal.