Fusing A Distilled Parisian Essence Into Haute Couture Classics: Saint Laurent’s SS23 Womenswear Collection

Anthony Vaccarello alludes to radical femininity, drawing hints from past Haute Couture collections.

Set amid a picturesque Parisian landscape, an essence of Paris –  distilled and exaggerated to a cinematic scale – provides a sublime evocative backdrop for Saint Laurent’s Summer 2023 Collection. Evoking from the eminent personal significance of Paris for the Maison’s founder – the terraces, fountains and views – an iridescent city guides Anthony Vaccarello’s vision for his latest collection. Reprised and pivotal, Vaccarello’s influence is acquired from the indelible modernity exuding from past Haute Couture debuts.

Looking to culture’s most historical intangible creators – much like in YSL’s SS23 Men’s Collection with author Paul Bowles – Vaccarello looks to notable American modern dancer and choreographer Martha Graham during her 1930 choreography for “Lamentation.” A maestro of the evolving art form of modern dance, Graham wears a tubular sheath during the performance which is presently reenvisioned and reinterpreted by Saint Laurent in this womenswear assembly. Enveloping silhouettes from head to toe, Vaccarello signifies the profound imprint that Graham left on visual culture and fashion.

Much like numerous collections by Yves Saint Laurent – from the hooded, diaphanous chiffon dresses he made for a collaboration with Claude Lalanne in 1969 to the indelible modernity of Spring Summer Haute Couture 1985 when a prolongation of fabric over the model’s head lent a casual connotation to several looks – a tribute to the house founder is evident. These precedents – especially Yves’ hooded ‘capuche’ pieces from the mid-1980s, which established an iconic key motif for the brand – echo a pivotal point of reference for Vaccarello as he set out to combine, for the Summer 2023, an essential attitude with the ultra-refined, elongated silhouette presented last season.

Through silk jersey knits and floor-length dresses, a radical genre of femininity provides elegant ease, balanced with masculine outerwear quintessentially Saint Laurent by Vaccarello – wool coats with strong shoulders as well as leather bombers and trenches. Sumptuously muted colors hark back to signature Saint Laurent moments, while legs are bare yet concealed by a relentlessly columnar silhouette. A sheer tank dress, cashmere pants, and pajama-inspired satin looks exemplify the sophisticated effortlessness that runs through the collection, juxtaposed to potent effect with sculptural wood and gold jewelry.

Watch the full show below: 

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