From the moment Yves Saint Laurent discovered Marrakech in 1966, the city became the designer’s intimate refuge, where he enjoyed a calmer, easier rhythm of life in contrast to his busy Parisian work schedule.
The eminent personal significance of Marrakech for the house founder is the evocative backdrop for Anthony Vaccarello’s thoroughly forward-looking Men’s Spring Summer 2023 collection for Saint Laurent. If there ever was a line between what constitutes a ‘masculine’ wardrobe and what makes clothes ‘feminine,’ it elegantly dissolves here.
The tuxedo, perhaps the most seminal element of the Saint Laurent vocabulary, once again gets reinterpreted, refined and imbued with possibility, a continuation of the variations Vaccarello explored in the brand’s Autumn Winter 2022 collection for women. Exciting choices encompass new collar and shoulder solutions, single and double-breasted options, as well as a debonair yet modern cream iteration of the tuxedo in lightweight silk faille.
A predominant high waist and wide leg create an elongated shape occasionally interrupted with narrow or boxy accents. The silhouettes are globally more relaxed, reflecting an ease of life typical of Marrakech. Outer pieces are looser, fluid, less constructed: gathered satin coats envelop the body almost to the ground while tailored jackets have a graphic sharpness. Grain de poudre, a finely tactile wool fabric with a long association at the house – Yves Saint Laurent loved using it – makes a strong showing, recurring in multiple looks.
The show’s setting honors the majestic beauty of Morocco : inspired by Paul Bowles’ 1949 novel The Sheltering Sky, Vaccarello, in collaboration with the London-based artist and stage designer Es Devlin, conceived an awe-inspiring set in the middle of Agafay desert – a ring-shaped luminous oasis amid the vast, arid unknown. Hope and mystery juxtaposed as a metaphor for life’s fascinating complexity.
In Bowles’ timeless words :
“We think of life as an inexhaustible well. Yet everything happens a certain number of times, and a very small number, really. How many more times will you remember a certain afternoon of your childhood, some afternoon that’s so deeply a part of your being that you can’t even conceive of your life without it? Perhaps four or five times more. Perhaps not even. How many more times will you watch the full moon rise? Perhaps twenty. And yet it all seems limitless.”
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