Hero coats and leopard print pencil skirts: Saint Laurent’s party girls get daywear options

Hero coats and leopard print pencil skirts: Saint Laurent’s party girls get daywear options

Saint Laurent AW19

If I had been asked which design house might show the most desirable coats at Paris fashion week, Yves Saint Laurent would have been quite far towards the bottom of the list. Not because the label can’t make an excellent topper- there are some truly exquisite belted leather and wool crombie styles in the current commercial collection- but because the shows are usually all about glamazon party girls for whom one spangly layer is more than enough.

And so it was that two extreme wide-shouldered, exaggerated lapel, sharp-with-a-hint-of-slouch wool coats created the first big surprise of the week when they were worn in the first two looks of Saint Laurent’s autumn/winter 2019 show on Tuesday night. There was more in this new foray into showing clothes one might wear by day from creative director Anthony Vaccarello; slinky tailored trousers, zebra and leopard pencil skirts with tactile panels of feathers and beautiful high-waisted tiered leather midis- this is ‘day’ for the Saint Laurent woman, lest we forget.

Credit: Getty Images

The Eighties-influenced look drew on Saint Laurent’s ‘iconic muses’ Betty Catroux, Bianca Jagger and Catherine Denueve; Jagger and Deneuve, both in black and leopard print, were watching from the front row. Several models had the same blunt fringe, peroxide blonde hair as Catroux and many looks were imbued with the dark sophistication of the costumes which Yves Saint Laurent created for Deneuve’s 1983 film, The Hunger.

Credit: Getty Images

The party girl was not left disappointed, however. Sequinned micro-minis, feathered stiletto boots and tuxedo dresses (a reminder of the tale of socialite Nan Kempner attempting to get into New York restaurant Le Cote Basque in her YSL suit, being told trousers were not suitable attire and removing them so that all she had on was a blazer) were accessorised with beautiful embellished skullcaps. The traditional finale became a rave-like parade of glow-in-the-dark neons shown under strobe lighting and to a throbbing soundtrack; Saint Laurent in its natural habitat.

Credit: Getty Images

On Wednesday morning, Lanvin looked to emerge from a period in the fashion wilderness since the departure of previous creative director Alber Elbaz in 2015. Bruno Sialelli, whose appointment was announced in January, is the fourth incumbent to the post in as many years. At the thirteenth century Musee Cluny, Sialelli made a confident debut with a collection which drew on some of the signatures of founder Jeanne Lanvin in her early twentieth century heyday- the opening look, for example, was a cardigan/ dress hybrid in her beloved shade of pale blue.

Other highlights included low-heel knee boots with silky legs, diaphanous maxi dresses and sumptuous colour combinations. For patriotic Brits, a velvet evening gown embroidered with the scene of St George slaying the dragon. Whether medieval reenactment can woo a new tribe of devotees remains to be seen.

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