Saint Laurent’s Desert Oasis Reflected on the Past for Spring/Summer 2023

Evoking the sleek ‘70s silhouette of the brand’s founder, while using Morocco as its show destination.

Fashion
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Anthony Vaccarello’s climb towards greatness in the menswear market has been a slow and steady approach, often eschewing a ‘race-to-the-finish’ design mentality. For his Spring/Summer 2023 Saint Laurent collection, Vaccarello chose Morocco for the show destination and made a strong mark evoking the sleek ‘70s silhouette of the brand’s founder.

The SS23 runway presentation was held in the Agafay Desert – some distance away from the bustling streets of Marrakech – amidst a makeshift desert oasis that emphasized the brand’s past while looking toward fashion’s future. Sleek black satin suits, breezy silk chiffon tops, loose trench coats, micro shorts and swooshing bell-bottom pants made their way across a smoke-filled desert floor that encompassed a mirrored circular stage setting.

As the desert sun slowly dipped behind a sand dune backdrop, Monsieur Yves Saint Laurent’s iconic glam aesthetic (and reverence for the African country), was reflected on the runway via Grain de Poudre fabrications, inspired caftan-esque tops, low-slung velvet pants that gained volume towards the hem, chubby furs worn over bias-cut shirts, razor-thin evening coats and slim belts at the waist. A few jackets comprised a rounded and bumped shoulder, while billowing – genderless – blouses came in the form of long and short variations.

On the accessories front, YSL’s nod to masculine glamour was ever-present as black patent leather and heeled shoe options comprised mousey flats, knee-high and ankle boot formats. A pair of black-and-white kitten-heeled boots also walked the desert floor, while thonged leather sandals bearing the brand’s signature “YSL” brass logo made an appearance alongside bejeweled satin slides.

Moreover, as Vaccarello was inspired by Paul Bowles’ 1949 novel “The Sheltering Sky,” for this collection he also collaborated with London-based artist and stage designer Es Devlin on an illuminating set that revealed a protracting and futuristic ‘ring-of-light’ for the show’s grand finale.

Speaking exclusively to Hypebeast after the show, award-winning musician Steve Lacy – who celebrated the release of his new album – said, “I’m inspired! The show was amazing and the light fixtures are something I would use for my tour. The collection was very well done.”

Other notable attendees included brand spokesmodel and Euphoria star Dominic Fike, Luka Sabbat, iann dior, supermodel Anja Rubik, Anson Boon, Top Gun: Maverick star Danny Ramirez, Emma Appleton, K-Pop star LØREN, Top Boy actress Razan Nassar, burgeoning West Coast rapper Channel Tres – who was excited to be in Marrakech – and more.

Tres shared: “I love the direction where men’s fashion is going and there were a lot of favorite looks in this collection. It’s an honor to be here; it was beautiful, magical, and just nice to be in the middle of the desert to witness the show.”

Spider-Man: Homecoming and Far From Home star, Laura Harrier, was also in attendance and revealed she’s “Always wanted to visit Morocco’s desert.”

“The show was stunning and really took my breath away – it felt like an incredible sci-fi film. I feel like this was a breakthrough collection and I want to wear all the clothes! I loved interacting with YSL in this capacity,” added Harrier.

Saint Laurent SS23 VIP Attendees

The complete Saint Laurent SS23 collection, along with the show’s inspirational notes and collection availability, can be found on the brand’s website.

Elsewhere in fashion, Maison Margiela’s 2022 version of haute couture set ablaze a “Cinema Inferno.”

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