Shown off-calendar a number of weeks ago, Anthony Vaccarello’s collection for Saint Laurent was a musty wax-works of rock-god clichés. Despite the label’s high-shine lacquer, it’s currently suffering from a form of crippling rigor mortis left behind by the former designer Hedi Slimane; his parting gift as it were. In an attempt to re-create an infamous ’70s New York party thrown on a ship by the label’s namesake Yves to launch his famous Opium fragrance, Vaccarello’s presentation gags on its own glamour and can’t catch its breath. Any of the swirling synergy leftover from the legacy of the Studio 54 set has been well stifled. No vitals at all, this is useless, dead fashion.
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If the brand’s elan was merely sleeping during the repetitive final seasons of Slimane’s tenure (a sleepy limb can at least be maneuvered into quickly giving yourself a handy that might feel like its coming from a stranger) it is now truly snuffed out. Vaccarello further rehashes the endless 2000s rehash of Slimane’s cheap “I’m with the band” staples, rolling out more sheer scarves, boaters, gilt western-detailing, snakeskin, pointy boots, and flared pants than a beleaguered Rachel Zoe assistant can carry at one time (“Hurry up and make a second trip, Birthany! Mama needs a moon juice!”).
The show’s finale looks came streaming out on reams of shirtless, nubile, teeny, taut bods slinking down the runway. The models, slathered in silver body paint, squeezed into sequinned jeans and anointed with a tangle of Forever 21 grade bijoux, may have held the promise of trite, full-colour seks-sualitaay but the implied cocks-out when they rocks-out came delivered limp, dreary and in black and white. A great house yields great disappointment.
Mama Muccia cooked up a strange brew this season. While her cauldron bubbled, she must have surely had a few back issues of Pravda (the former Soviet Union’s official communist newspaper) spread out on the kitchen table for inspo. No insinuation here that her stock pot had been hacked (as is happening an awful lot these days) — Muccia’s too smart for that — but bobbing up out of her borscht was a whole lot of pre-glasnost glamooor. Muccia’s boys hit the floor oozing ol’Eastern Block sex appeal not seen since sturdy, swarthy Soviet coaches did all they could do to keep a communist body tight in preparation for dominating whatever Olympic competition was next up.
Her dream team filed past the front row (all perched on inflatable Verner Panton stools) on their way to what I imagine were multiple inhospitable U.S.S.R. vacation destinations. Poly-knit Ushanka and psychedelic floral print turtleneck for ski-ski? Check. Constructivist-print mini-shorts and tropical print tee for Chernobyl beach? Check. Rubberized, ruffled sea-foam button-up with camel blazer, lil’ city shorts and high woolly socks to queue up for toilet paper? Check! Check! Check!
There is an odd sexiness afoot here and if anyone can make slippery, spongy, scratchy fabrics look sexy, it’s Muccia. Like a Russian gymnast flexing for his life, Ms. Prada pushed out a whole lot of thigh meat onto the runway, ready for judgement. So start scissoring now, and and get your quads and your score cards ready for Spring ’19; the Russians are coming!
There’s something delightfully placid about the Sunnei color palette. This grouping of familiar shades (sand, sky, slate, lemon, pylon) are more than capable of lulling to the very brink of boredom. It’s a precipice, yes, but a good place, where all edges are beveled and as soft as a boiled eggs. A place where golf-dads meander in quiet electric carts just a little high on daily dose Cialis and whatever that happy drug is that makes you pee more or pee less or breathe more clearly and/or calms anxious thoughts while lowering your cholesterol.
It’s here where man-made lakes lap at newly laid turf and the sun is always shining yet you never break a sweat where Sunnei’s sensibility flowers. Her bloom emits a subtle fragrance, not unlike the scent of stepping into the retail blankness of the Gap (Play Doh, Dasani, chipboard hugged by melamine).
Sunnei’s charms are plain in intention, practical and clear like the yield sign that urges you to yield with so much yellow and black. Here, a common sense approach, that’s highly functional and just this side of banal. One large cargo pocket sits plainly on a packing-tape colored suit, self-belts give shape to a slouchy leisure-set and tear-away overalls provide convenience.
Accessories from the collection infantilize for the feeling of safety that comes with being irresponsible for your own shit. Wallets on lanyards dangle on the neck for easy access to all essentials, floppy-knit flower-pot, skull-clinging hats resist a stiff breeze and shield a delicate complexion. Cardigans have no buttons to fuss with, lose, or swallow. Shoes are color blocked and fastened with toggles or elastic for a quick and easy slip-on. When Sunnei gets parental, I say, “Baby’s on board!”.