Anthony Vaccarello hit a turning point yesterday. It wasn't the official first show of the schedule but it revved Paris Fashion Week into gear as we peered into what a this forerunner of a new generation of Paris-based designers could really be capable of. For S/S12, the Vaccarello woman took a dive in the city letting moonlight shine of the shortest of skirts and dresses in shades of navy and black. Vaccarello relies on killer cutting precision though to ensure that super short lengths never look tawdry. The lines are deliberately drawn on the body so that you never know where body ends and dress begins or rather, the two are fused together for smouldering effect. Beyond dresses though, Vaccarello tellingly injected shorts, short jackets, loose t-shirts and tailored jumpsuits to break up the monotony of the dress, all hinting at a more casual mood with poppers, pockets, cargo trouser detailing but never veering too far away from his luxuriously sensual remit.
Similarly, a serpent's shadows dancing across fils coupe silk leading on to panels of full on snakeskin in a tank top, did a fine job of cutting through the black/blue and also shed the idea of Vaccarello just of being the go-to guy for sexy LBDs. The finale portion of asymmetric bathing suits cut into dresses with a daring thigh high split raised the temperature levels in the room especially when Karlie Kloss closed the show with her mile-long legs striding down the mile-long catwalk with intensity. The model couldn't stop saying how "HOT" the dress was after the show and men and women alike nodded in agreement. It might have been a hard sell to show this much leg but by the end, it was quite easy to be swayed into Vaccarello's uncompromising vision and you found yourself thinking that flesh felt fresh again.
Dazed Digital: Tell us a bit about the mood for this collection and what you referenced?
Anthony Vaccarello: The idea was that I was very inspired by the old pictures by Herb Ritts in the 90s. It's more about the girl rather than about a conceptual it is about concept. It's about that girl taking a swimsuit and taking a swim. The moonlight is on her and that's why you can't tell the difference between black and blue. The light catches all of these reflective surfaces and so I chose fabrics where it looked like there was a slick of oil. I didn't want it to be only a sensual and sexy collection. I like the idea of a dress hanging out of a skirt, elements of a military trouser without it being one - buttons, pockets etc. I really wanted to hint at casual clothes and make them very luxurious.
DD: How did the print come about?
Anthony Vaccarello: I like the idea of the shadows of a snake and so I tried it on a silk fils coupe (similar to a jacquard) and I wanted to combine a pattern like tartan and snake together so that you get a hint of the snake without it literally being snake.
DD: Do you feel it's quite brave to do what you do - this sort of uncompromising short and sharp sexiness?
Anthony Vaccarello: I think it's short because I feel it's very modern. I don't like the length of 10cm up the knee and when I do short, I prefer very short. I love legs. It's not something that i intentionally tell myself that I have to do but by the time I've finished the collection, it just somehow always ends up being that way.
DD: How has winning the ANDAM prize changed the way you work?
Anthony Vaccarello: By the time I won the ANDAM prize, I already had my collection in place and so while the prize has been an amazing honour, money-wise, I will always push myself to do what I want in each collection regardless of funding. Ultimately I want to structure the business so that I have couturiers helping me so that I can develop more product and do less things by myself.