Saint Laurent Fall 2022 Menswear

Anyone who thinks that Catherine Deneuve got all the best looks in Luis Bunuel’s magnificent 1967 magnum opus Belle de Jour needs to feast their eyes on Anthony Vaccarello’s fall men’s for Saint Laurent. One of the starting points for his collection, a fabulously cool and glam after-dark affair, was Deneueve’s lover in the movie, Marcel. He was handsome and brooding (so far, so good) albeit a psychotic criminal (uh-oh, why is there always a downside with the hotties?), and played by French bad boy actor Pierre Clementi. “The androgyne leather trench, the gold teeth…everything was done by Bunuel in this movie,” says Vaccarello.

In addition to the aforementioned trench, Marcel also had a penchant for razor sharp tailoring loosened up with a little raffiné dishevelment; his not-quite-undone-yet-undone necktie and rumpled collar is pure fuck-it chic. Both coat and suiting get a subtle yet alluring makeover by Vaccarello. His sinuous tailoring, all confident shoulders and pants cut with the barest hint of volume, come in that most nighttime (and most YSL) of fabrics, velvet, re-invented for 24/7 in shades of forest green and burgundy. The trench, meanwhile, is slicked up in gleaming patent, its line kept close to the body, and tautly and strictly belted.

To amplify the coat’s high gloss sheen, Vaccarello put it on a model with a sweeping platinum coif, giving a sly wink back to Belle de Jour but in a whole other way. The effect of coat plus hair is redolent of the hyper blonde Deneuve in her own gleaming trench, which she wore while cinq a sept was keeping her in gainful if illicit employment—a coat, like all of her costumes, designed by Yves Saint Laurent himself.

It’s just one of the ways that Vaccarello has of late compellingly riffed on gender interchangeability, viewing the vast legacy of the house of Saint Laurent as fair game for any and all sexes. It’s especially good when he’s riffing on the maison’s icons, which are used to strong effect here, with terrific renderings of tuxes, (faux) fur chubbies, capes, and the iconic cocoon coats of YSL’s earliest days, their elegance of line, so long associated with quote-unquote femininity, subverted garçon style with lean kicky pants and rocker-ish boots—boots, incidentally, which often finish at the knees and rest on high heels.

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