Spring 2024 has been a season focused on wearability and going back to basics. At Saint Laurent’s runway show, presented under the light of the Eiffel Tower, creative director Anthony Vaccarello took that idea to heart—but with an imaginative edge that drew from some of the fashion house’s best-known archives. Think: reinterpretations of the safari jacket and jumpsuits, as well as a soundtrack by the French producer Sebastian and poetic voiceover by Catherine Deneuve, which played to the celeb-studded audience.
Out of the 49 looks in this collection, nearly all of them referenced those classic Saint Laurent silhouettes, including the caftan-style dress. Of course, Vaccarello added in a bit of his own signature aesthetic, too—turning the usual beiges and tans to brick reds, saffron yellows, and deep marigold shades. “The stance [of this collection] is pragmatic, with couture-informed daytime looks and a looser silhouette than in past seasons,” the show notes explained. The designer also looked to a handful of famous women, like Amelia Earhart and the French test pilot Adrienne Bolland, for inspiration, as well as the concept of taking things from the male wardrobe and making them more feminine. (A fitting sentiment, since Yves Saint Laurent himself once said, “Chanel freed women, and I empowered them.”)
The latter theme could be seen in all the slouchy, oversized silhouettes—many of which were belted at the waist and then further dramatized with pairs of large, chunky, metal earrings that hung from the models’s ears like sculptures. Others wore little leather aviation-style bonnets, while silver and gold bangles came neatly stacked on gloved arms. High-shine jewelry, in fact, was everywhere: from classic metal chokers to gold belt buckles that anchored chunky cargo pants and ’70s-inspired wrap dresses. All the Saint Laurent accessories were present, too: like sky-high heels and leather gloves.
A subtle play on textures kept things interesting. Sheer tank tops and thin gossamer stockings were juxtaposed against thick, khaki materials; despite utilitarianism dominating this collection, there were plenty of gems that felt fresh for spring, like styling bangles over your gloves or wearing mixed metals in an unconventional way. Perhaps 2024 will be the year of the belted jumpsuit or the modified safari jacket. Either way, if this collection is any indication, it looks like big pockets are going to be everywhere for spring.