Paris Fashion Week has just begun, but from both New York and Milan Fashion Weeks, it’s clear that the fall ’22 season is sure to be one filled with statement color, heavy embellishment — and lots of platform shoes. From all-over sequins to crystals, colorful satin, mini skirts and mini dresses, there are plenty of look-at-me pieces to go around.
Not necessarily at Saint Laurent. While the French luxury brand is no stranger to a party dress and extreme statement heel, this time around things were noticeably more subdued. Gone were the sequin mini dresses or latex leggings in bright colors (things many other brands are now doing). Instead, creative director Anthony Vaccarello put forth a fall ’22 collection of mostly all-black looks, which ranged from très-chic satin trench coats, embossed leather biker jackets, minimal evening sandals, all the way to the YSL tradition of Le Smoking with a series of tuxedos with a more relaxed silhouette. For both Parisians and New Yorkers — and anyone with the sensibilities of the two cities — it’s a dream wardrobe wrapped in one collection.
From a merchandising point of view, it makes perfect sense. As more people get dressed up again, return to offices, events and normal pre-pandemic lives, the need for updated basics and key wardrobe pieces will be stronger than ever. And since many shoppers may have skipped the past few seasons in updating, say, their new coat for the year or a blazer or pair of sleek boots, these items become perhaps the most important garments of the season. The collection points these strong, elegant basics for fall that the other brands are not quite hitting with their sequined party looks, which can only be worn to… a party.
As it turns out, Vaccarello’s inspiration was much more nuanced, referencing Art Deco themes from the interiors of Yves Saint Laurent himself as an indirect influence on the collection. The result is a nuanced point of view of everyday pieces that shoppers will likely choose to get dressed again.
But that’s not all that Saint Laurent and Vaccarello address in the fall ’22 collection. With war in Ukraine from Russian attacks, the season has quickly taken a more somber mood, and it’s likely that some brands many have shifted their aesthetic to reflect that. While New York and Milan Fashion Weeks were purely about vibrance and verve with plenty of glitz, it’s likely that as Paris Fashion Week moves along, the looks will continue to bend.