Saint Laurent Creative Director Anthony Vaccarello Proves That Less Is More

Vaccarello’s rock-chic aesthetic carries over to the men’s ready to wear collection, especially in the T-shirts with understatedly cool prints.

A curious trend is sweeping across fashion houses on both sides of the Atlantic. Recently Burberry, Bottega Veneta, and Calvin Klein started combining their men’s runway shows with those for their women’s collections. In this year’s fall-winter show, Saint Laurent followed suit with a strong 100-plus piece collection, but here’s the thing: only 14 ensembles were for men.

Antique leather aviator jacket and gray flannel trousers

For those who’ve followed the career of Anthony Vaccarello, the fashion house’s 35-year-old creative director, it wasn’t really much of a surprise, as he’s always been more recognized for his creations for women. Born in Brussels to Italian parents, he studied sculpture for a year in college before shifting to fashion. “What really interested me was the construction of the clothes. The architecture of designing,” he explained. Shortly after graduating, he attracted the attention of fashion heavyweights Karl Lagerfeld and Donatella Versace as well as top models Lou Doillon and Anja Rubik, the latter his longstanding muse. He took over as Saint Laurent’s creative director in April 2016.


A model in the mohair turtleneck sweater and leather pants

Versace once said that Vaccarello “likes black” and “likes rock,” and the pieces in the current men’s collection bear this out, as the standout ensembles were in black, black, and more black from head to toe, with a definite rock ’n’ roll vibe. With a limited number of looks, Vaccarello seems to be saying men only need to throw a few basic pieces together to get through the season. The essentials for cooler weather include a short, boxy leather jacket, a gorgeous suede aviator jacket, and a versatile turtleneck (a favorite, of course, of the label’s founder).

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Cognac suede jean jacket and gabardine trousers

Another piece you can throw over practically anything is the trench coat, which Vaccarello tailors smartly without embellishment or showy details. Who needs the extra attention when you’re in a pair of shiny patent leather pants anyway? While that look may suit a younger demographic, Saint Laurent provides subtler trouser choices for more traditional customers. Vaccarello jazzes those up, nonetheless, with modern cuts. A number of designs sit low on the waist, and he allows generous amounts of fabric to concertina on the ankles. For men who’ve worn their pants extra-short the past couple of seasons, this may take some getting used to, so a pair with shorter hems is also available—and this goes perfectly with the impeccably constructed tux, another must-have in a gentleman’s closet.

Ringer t-shirt in cotton jersey

Joe mid-top sneakers

Vaccarello’s rock-chic aesthetic carries over to the men’s ready to wear collection, especially in the T-shirts with understatedly cool prints. (That’s how it’s done, Jenner sisters.) Varsity jackets, polo shirts, and even hoodies pepper the RTW line, possibly signifying the intent to pull a younger yet affluent audience, and there’s a very good chance Saint Laurent will do just that. Shangri-La Plaza East Wing, Solaire and Rustan’s Makati; @ssilifeph on Instagram

This story was originally published in the September 2017 issue of Town&Country.

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Pierre A. Calasanz
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