The French-Spanish designer played a pivotal role in convincing a haute couture-devoted Saint Laurent to turn YSL into the sophisticated, risk-taking seductress it is today. And clearly, her everlasting influence continues to do so. The art of subversive seduction, of which Saint Laurent is known for, ever present throughout Vaccarello’s most recent offering.
Picasso’s trademarks were scattered generously throughout the collection, with dark hair, scarlet pouts and androgynous influence reigning supreme in almost every look.
“She projected a glamorous toughness,” Vaccarello revealed at a preview, days before the show. “And it was a way for her to move through the world and hold her own.”
The collection celebrated sensuality not simply through a sex-inspired gaze, but rather by redefinition through the collection’s commemoration of someone as empowered and unapologetically seductive as Picasso.
Of course, sexuality doesn’t equal femininity. Vaccarello’s use of masculine tailoring said as much, sporting three-quarter-length sleeves and structured shoulders, a shape in which Vaccarello implored “to fix all those oversized jackets I am tired of seeing on Instagram; just to show what a well-cut jacket is.”
However, playfulness had its time in the spotlight, showcased through the collection’s accessories. Pop Art bright leather gloves, glitzy jewellery, the Tribute platform in black patent leather, the clutch bag slipped into the waistband of the pants—most of which were odes to style choices that Picasso implored.
A redefinition of womanhood, Picasso’s sexual emancipation saw her toe the line between gender and physicality, all during the rise of feminism in the ’70s. Much like the revolution Saint Laurent is known for, the return of the body and sexiness, in general, is welcomed in 2021.
As for Vaccarello? His Spring 2022 collection is a celebration of unapologetic sensuality and women holding agency over their bodies, courtesy of Saint Laurent’s greatest influence. And well, a little hint of ‘80s disco never hurts.