Hedi Slimane‘s tenure at Saint Laurent established the house as a purveyor of Slimane’s signature rock-indebted styling, with collections centered around menswear comprising of slim denim, trim suiting and cropped leather rider’s jackets. Since taking the reigns in 2016, Anthony Vaccarello has intelligently expanded the Saint Laurent look, delivering imposing womenswear and thoughtful menswear that prods at the constraints initiated by its previous iteration.
Spring/Summer 2020, shown in sunny Los Angeles, is Vaccarello fully realizing a progressive revision of the house, delivering an array of striking looks that reinvent the "heroin chic" popularized by Slimane, without completely abandoning the slim cuts that contemporary Saint Laurent is known for. Sleek blazers, body-hugging jeans, gently-pointed boots and mostly-unbuttoned shirts retain the tenets that make the brand one of Kering’s reliable moneymakers. Statement outerwear, like raw-hemmed gown coats, sparkling bombers and marching band-inspired jackets, provide a bold counterpoint to understated all-black looks, with leather pants and monochrome scarves gently nudging the looks towards boldness.
The latter half of the show demonstrates the new values informing Vaccarello’s design ethos, with a press release noting the influence drawn from "the irreverent allure of Mick Jagger and the Parisian nonchalance of Serge Gainsbourg," bolstered by the looks worn by Jagger’s Stones during the 1975 tour. Sequined one-shoulder tops, deep v-cut shirts and mesh short-sleeves are abetted by waist-covering belts and enormous, draping trousers. Though one could argue that androgynous Saint Laurent styling began with Sliman, Vaccarello has elevated the conceit to new heights, with bare-chested models swaggering down the runway with only a cropped leather jacket or see-through scoop-neck shirt atop the wide pants. Minimalist sandals, thin scarves and minute silver jewelry reinforce the collection’s casual refusal of gender typing.
Expect the new collection to hit stockists like SSENSE next year. In the meantime, watch the full menswear runway presentation below.
Elsewhere, Saint Laurent delivered a new nylon accessories line dubbed "NUXX."