Paris Fashion Week: What Happened to Saint Laurent Menswear?

Pictured: YSL Spring ’17, Illustrated by Hilton Dresden

Later today, Anthony Vaccarello will present his Women’s Ready-To-Wear collection in Paris. According to T Magazine, the newly appointed designer will present his first set of men’s looks—apart from a single model in sheer blouse and trousers shown at his debut in September. Following Hedi Slimane’s departure in April, the slot usually reserved for Saint Laurent menswear has remained vacant for two seasons. A curious choice, given that menswear was one of the fastest growing sectors in the business.

Although Kering does not release a break down by gender, under Slimane the brand saw double-digit growth for consecutive quarters. With the men in leather jackets and jhodpur boots flooding the streets, and the recent boost in men’s sales across the luxury spectrum, it’s clear that the male market cannot be ignored.

Unlike Slimane, who has had a devout men’s following since his days at Dior Homme, Vaccarello has limited experience in menswear—his eponymous line was exclusively women’s. While he did dabble with men’s designs while at Versus Versace, he is primarily interested in womenswear. According to multiple sources, even with the brief display of menswear set to be unveiled later today, Vaccarello is relatively uninvolved in the men’s side of the business at Saint Laurent.

Indeed, the two seasons since his appointment have been stocked with staid Slimane era re-issues. With a rabid male fan base and a burgeoning men’s designer market, will Saint Laurent let the men’s line fall behind? Or, rather, like some have suggested, bring in a dedicated men’s designer to reinvigorate the slick rocker chic look Slimane ushered in? Only time will tell. However, today’s presentation will be a strong indicator of what is to come.

Anthony Vaccarello Shows His Debut Collection With YSL

Illustration by Hilton Dresden

Anthony Vaccarello debuted his first runway collection as creative director of Saint Laurent at Paris Fashion week, and the designer certainly kicked off his new career move in style.

“It’s a work in progress,” Vaccarello told Vogue regarding his spring 2017 collection. “[The Saint Laurent woman]’s certainly not bourgeois or classic. She has a huge respect for Saint Laurent, but not in the first degree. So I thought of her taking a vintage dress and cutting into it.”

The first look in Vaccarello’s line was a black leather version of one of Saint Laurent’s retro puffy-sleeved dresses. In other cases, Vaccerello took cuts out of classic forms, deepening necklines, and replacing sections of gowns and jackets with sheer, see-through materials for a sexier, punkier edge.

The show felt like a celebration of ’80s excess and visually stunned. The silhouettes felt fresh and nostalgic all at once, giving us some early-Lady Gaga vibes (particularly in the large sleeves and shiny beading.)

If the show is any indicator, the post-Hedi Slimane Saint Laurent is set to dazzle and innovate. Time will tell is Vaccarello can maintain the high standards he’s just set.

View the full collection at Vogue Runway.

YSL Beauty Casts Zoë Kravitz in Bold, Black-and-White Campaign

Photo via Instagram

“YSL Beauty has always been one of my favorite brands,” says actress and Lolawolf pack leader Zoë Kravitz, announcing her partnership with the timeless fashion house. “Nothing is forced, nothing is fake, but everything is bold, strong and unafraid.”

The news arrived with three black-and-white photos, as YSL Beauty mused about the 27-year-old’s “talented, cool and free-spirited” energy. “She embodies the YSL Beauty woman and the brand’s vision of beauty,” they said. “We are proud to announce that the new U.S. YSL Beauty muse is the amazing actress and singer Zoë Kravitz.”

This casting follows Balenciaga, which also recruited Kravitz for their spring ’16 campaign alongside German model Anna Ewers, though YSL Beauty’s will exist exclusively on social media. Without giving away any spoilers, the brand revealed that Kravitz’s partnership will include a video project, some music and “lots of makeup looks.”






Insta-Critic: ’80s Boys and Biker Babes at Saint Laurent

With the Parisian twilight as its backdrop, Hedi Slimane’s Fall/Winter show for Saint Laurent ushered in a full-force biker-chic extravaganza staged on a set of rock concert proportions. This was statement-making fashion ripped straight out of clubs, music videos, and movies of the 1980s (think: Madonna, circa “Desperately Seeking Susan”). Styled with chains, tattered fishnets, and extreme eyeliner, the references were not subtle. “Pretty In Pink” taffetta dresses and bold patchwork furs came down the runway alongside Saint Laurent’s borrowed-from-the-boys classic: Le Smoking went retro-punk for the occasion, thanks to the sly introduction of the Bowie-esque tie.

Outfit for twilight in Paris @ysl

A photo posted by Susie Lau (@susiebubble) on

Attention-grabbing outerwear at Saint Laurent

Biker jackets for everyone

Baby doll grunge brought to you by Hedi Slimane! Photo by @maximsap report by @nichapats

A photo posted by FASHION TO MAX official (@fashiontomax) on

The 80s make a bold comeback

Menswear goes evening with a touch of sparkle

Unique Creatures: Nan Kempner, a Couture Collector and Supremely Stylish Badass

Nan’s love of fashion was borne in her blood, her mother and grandmother famously clotheshorses themselves. At 19, Nan purchased her first piece of couture, a Christian Dior white silk sheath with mink trim that she cried over to get the price down. At the time Yves Saint Laurent was the head designer there, and his curiosity over her need for the dress caused him to seek her out. Thus begins one of the largest couture collections in existence.

Shop the look, see more photos, and READ +

Hedi Slimane to Design YSL from LA

Now that it has been speculated and confirmed that former Dior Homme designer turned renowned fashion photographer Hedi Slimane will indeed succeed Stefano Pilati’s role as YSL creative director, everyone wants to know where he’ll make the magic happen. Will he stick to tradition and work out of YSL’s Parisian headquarters or will he switch the game up and design from his homebase since 2007, Los Angeles?  Ever the rebel, Slimane chose the latter. 

According to British Vogue, although Slimane will maintain the design reins from his West Coast studio, "fittings will still take place in Paris and YSL ateliers will continue to work from the label’s Avenue George V offices." They also note that London-based Phoebe Philo of Céline is the only other creative director of a French fashion house to go against the grain and work elsewhere. 

While Philo’s relocation definitely worked out for her (I’m pretty sure some Philophiles have physical shrines dedicated to Céline), I’m curious to see how the notoriously laidback LA will affect YSL’s European sensibility. Slimane’s first YSL collection as creative director is expected to drop this month.

On another note, Vena Cava now has a studio in LA, Vera Wang bought a home in LA, Céline is re-opening their Rodeo Drive boutique and Isabel Marant is setting up shop in West Hollywood—I suspect the grooming of a West Coast fashion capital. 

Hedi Slimane Heads to YSL

Hot off the heels of Stefano Pilati’s final collection for Yves Saint Laurent yesterday, it has just been announced that former YSL menswear designer turned photographer Hedi Slimane will return to succeed Pilati’s role as creative director.

According to Suzy Menkes of The New York Times, the appoinment will be made official tomorrow, March 7. This comes after much speculation and anticipation when news broke last week that Pilati would be leaving the iconic fashion house. 

Two down, one more to go.

Louboutin Copycats Feverishly Purchase All of London’s Red Paint

Christian Louboutin can sue a designer for copying his signature red soles, but can he sue an entire city? According to the Telegraph, sales in red paint have skyrocketed in London due to the equally rapid rise of Louboutin DIY-ers. UK’s leading home enhancement retailer Homebase has nailed two paint colors that are near-identical to the shade of the French footwear designer’s distinctive hue, which he developed in 1992. Bargain-hunting girls across the pond have no shame and are apparently buying these paint pots in droves.

The two colors responsible for the 40% sale increase are Duracoat’s "Flame" and "Show Stopper." Homebase staffers reveal that they’ve noticed "significant numbers of girls colour-matching tester pots to pictures of designer shoes in fashion magazines" and have been asking for "tips on how to paint on leather or rubber."
Pretty bold, right? I mean, I’m all for DIY projects (there are some pretty clever ones out there), but there’s a thin line between saluting a designer’s work and straight-up stealing their signature details. On the flip side, it looks like these girls (so far) are just painting their own soles to make themselves feel good rather than for the purpose of mass distribution, so it’s less threatening than the ongoing counterfeit bag controversy. Either way, the trend is growing fast enough to make paint sales spike, so I wouldn’t be surprised if Louboutin eventually speaks out.