Destination shows are back, and for its spring menswear 2023 show, Saint Laurent shipped the fashion set to Morocco. Stranded in the hazy, mars-like setting of the Agafay desert just an hour outside of Marrakech, it gave way to a natural intimacy. But where destination shows lean heavily on their surrounds, pulling motifs and codes from the local environment, this was not a tribute collection to Morocco. Thank god.
Rather the significance of this corner of the world charts back to Yves Saint Laurent himself. The founder had two homes here after all; Villa Oasis and the dedicated Musée Yves Saint Laurent. Vaccarello took us away from all that is familiar, leaning into the extreme, be it heat or aesthetic, to remind us of the comfort in escaping ourselves, if only for a while. Just as Yves did before us.
Enlisting the help of London-based stage designer Es Devlin, Vaccarello collaborated with the artist to simulate an oasis. Jutting out of the arid landscape was a enormous ring of light, perched atop a glittering watering hole. Hope springs eternal here.
The clothes were just as much a part of the magic. Models stepped out onto the dust and circled the towering set to stretch the gesture of safety even further. The clothes were neither strictly feminine or masculine, dissolving the line between both attitudes. Shoulders were wide and angular, while trousers rose to the waist and dropped to a wide leg, brushing the dust.
It was a collection heavy on blouses; floaty and torso-skimming. Some knotted around the neck while others wrapped around the waist, nipping it in. Many, like the sheer djellaba, opened in a V, exposing the chest to the point just above the navel. It was fluid and free. Heavy faux fur coats with foot-wide lapels sloped around the shoulders, adding volume to the otherwise slimline silhouettes. T-strap leather sandals made the whole thing feel more relaxed. Altogether it was gentle and hopeful. A contrast that was brought into focus, not watered down, by the destination.
Watch the Saint Laurent spring 2023 menswear show, below.