Yves Saint Laurent is of course one of those houses where everyone has an opinion and no two are alike. It’d be nigh impossible to ever reach a consensus on what it should, could, needs to be; everyone is a yay-sayer, or a naysayer, just depends on who you ask. Vaccarello, for his part, realized that his way forward was to be referential, respectful even, just don’t ever get trapped into being reverential. As with last season he was, he said, inspired by one particular dress, an haute couture number with huge sleeves which dates from the early ’80s. “I always relate YSL to parties, to evening,” Vaccarello said backstage. “I couldn’t do a show without those golden years, but I wanted to take that further.” So while his show ended with the usual final lap of honor for the models, they were dressed not in what they’d just worn, but in different iterations of tiny, sculpted, curvaceous after-dark looks, glistening in black velvet, gleaming in black leather, glittering from thousands of rhinestones—get a load of the diamond cable-knit sweater, which was knockout! What preceded all this focused on clothes for daylight hours, though, truth be told, those were pretty turned up to the max, too.
Still, even if he had a whole line up of evening looks to unveil during his finale, Vaccarello couldn’t resist slipping in some strictly for night looks earlier, too. One, that closed the pre-finale proceedings, an abbreviated black dress embroidered with a purple flower and green leaves, was an homage, albeit much, much shorter, to a dress that Monsieur Saint Laurent had designed way back when. (Turns out that was one of the things that Monsieur Bergé had wanted to talk to Vaccarello about after the show.) In fact, Vaccarello said, his new version used the very last of the Lesage embroidery that had been originally commissioned by Yves himself. It was a decidedly confident way to finish a just as confident show: The past is here, but the past is also gone; the present is all that really matters.