Saint Laurent Fall 2024 Menswear Collection

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In the end, it all goes back to Yves Saint Laurent, as Anthony Vaccarello ably demonstrated with his absolutely sublime winter men’s collection. It lowered the curtain on the fall 2024 run of shows on a chilly, damp Paris evening—and also reminded us that his menswear has really become quite the tour de force these last couple of years. Vaccarello was backstage at his show venue, the Pinault Collection, a contemporary art museum, but before that the site of the Bourse, the French stock exchange, giving a preview of the collection—just as he did only a week ago when he showed his women’s on the other side of town, on the Left Bank, in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower. That the timing was so close came down to, Vaccarello said, the date when he could actually use the museum for tonight’s presentation.

Vaccarello’s men’s look for next winter, delicately sketched, and amplified by the way he laser focuses his storytelling with remarkable singularity, is focused on terrific, languid suits. They were as louche as they come, mostly double-breasted and so soft, and light, and undulating, you felt that at any minute they might exhale with the gentlest of sighs. That, he explained, was because the tailoring was based on flou, the historic haute couture term for making things as fluid as humanly possible. Saint Laurent himself was the king of the flou, just as much as he was of the tailleur—tailoring—the guiding principles of French fashion: Vaccarello’s clever, skillful trick here was to beautifully meld them together.

“I wanted this collection to be more formal, more classic, more masculine,” he said, “perhaps in reaction to what I did the previous season. I’ve never done the flou before for the men’s, but I liked the idea of having this traditional suiting in these fluid, almost feminine, fabrics, like the georgette and the satin.” These last few seasons have seen him oscillate between his men’s and women’s collections, yet his approach has always been to keep the relationship between the two as subtle as possible.

You could see it in the way some of his men’s color choices—mauve, tan, chocolate, rose du bois—echoed the women’s, though in turn he contrasted those against the gray flannels or spiffy chalk striped wools you might have seen on guys working at the Bourse back in the day. Where Vaccarello played up the connection between the men’s and women’s was with his suits—he’d peppered a few through his women’s sheerfest—and his revisiting of the black rubber cabans and enveloping wool coats with their voluminous cocooning. He gave a further nod to their early ’60s inspiration by redoing the gleaming, leathery caps Saint Laurent first showed in 1963.

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