For his summer 2021 collection titled “I Wish You Were Here,” European creative director Anthony Vaccarello of Saint Laurent conquered the uncharted territory for him of ease and comfort amidst an isolated and unknown desert runway. Gone are the days where latex drives the fashion house as it did in the winter collection of this year. Instead, Vaccarello slows down the pace of life in a loose and breezy body of work for next summer that just makes sense considering the whirlwind of a year that was 2020.
“I wanted to focus on the essence of things,” Vaccarello said of his latest collection in a press release. “I think it’s a sign of the times. But I didn’t want anything bleak or heavy. The desert, to me, symbolizes that yearn for serenity, open space, a slower rhythm. The clothes are also softer, the spirit of the collection is more gentle, stripped back.”
But comfort doesn’t take away from the sensual luxury that Saint Laurent is known for. In the virtual show directed by Nathalie Canguilhem, models appear mysteriously one by one on a carved-out sand runway wearing carefree belted lingerie numbers, shoulder-baring tops lined with fur, and biker shorts. Fitted trousers with pockets are paired with loose see-through tops or metallic bras. Models gaze directly into the camera, flinging sand into the air with each stilettoed step. The summer of 2021 Saint Laurent woman bares it all in this imaginative desert, illuminated with fire by nighttime.
Saint Laurent’s creative restraint in its latest collection isn’t the first time that the luxury brand has shown that they can successfully read a room either. Back in the spring of this year, Saint Laurent was the first (and one of the only) European brands to pull out from Paris Fashion Week due to the rapidly worsening coronavirus.
“Conscious of the current circumstance and its waves of radical change, Saint Laurent has decided to take control of its pace and reshape its schedule,” the fashion house wrote in a post on their official Instagram account on April 27. “Now more than ever, the brand will lead its own rhythm, legitimating the value of time and connecting with people globally by getting closer to them in their own space and lives.”
So instead of a traditional fast-paced show in the brand’s French home court, the 66 looks in the desert for next summer show solitude, isolation, and quietness; all appropriate for the year many of us have endured.