At the base of a glittering La Tour Eiffel each September, along the famous stretch of Trocadéro, Saint Laurent presents its seasonal Spring/Summer collection. But following an announcement from artistic director Anthony Vaccarello in late-April, that the French fashion house would transition into seasonless runways and take part in the slow fashion cycle, the future of its twice-yearly shows were uncertain. On the eve of its regularly scheduled event, the house released a series of teasers for Men’s Spring/Summer 2021, sounding a return of the brand.
As designers are forced to conform to restrictions around the globe, Saint Laurent Men’s was reminiscent to virtual presentations shown before it. Media, buyers, influencers and stylists tuned in via portal, protected by a password, loyal followers of the house tuned in via YouTube. But in an exciting introduction to the future of Saint Laurent, the short film titled ‘No Matter How Long The Night Is’ went one step further to depict models flipping off buildings, balancing on precarious beams and sliding down roofs – parkour, but make it fashion.
Directed by Nathalie Canguilhem with a soundtrack expertly composed by SebastiAn, the virtual presentation format often plagued by a myriad of distractions from our home lives was in fact engaging; exciting. An apt finale saw men’s looks strutted across a makeshift runway in the middle of the Eiffel Tower, literal new heights for the French house.
“The Saint Laurent Men’s Spring Summer 2021 Project curated by Anthony Vaccarello, is a unique virtual and physical experience, bringing together videos, augmented reality, 3D lenticular imagery, music playlist, street posters, hidden stickers, photo walls, flags, and more; all connecting the places from around the world, digitally to physically. A perpetual and simultaneous game of echoes creates an impossible dialogue between imagination and reality,” the show notes read.
As for the collection, each look is rooted grunge, neo-noir sensibilities of archival collections synonymous with the house, however lends a softer approach for warm weather silhouettes. Fabrications are soft and billow as the models walk, tailoring takes form in long line shorts and slim suiting while lightweight outerwear in soft suede, faux fur and silks leave textural elements to the collection as a whole. Rounding out the looks, mesh slip-ons, leather boots and rope sandal provide a wide offering of footwear, beachy straw hats are peppered throughout the Spring/Summer 2021 line while staple sunglasses are expected to be a best seller.