Anthony Vaccarello A/W11

The Belgian-born, Paris-based young gun is charging ahead with a textured noir-flooded collection

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How to make black consistently interesting? By choosing fabrics that seem like they were reflecting many different shades of noir?  By pumping as many textures and light-enhancing detailing as you can into one singular collection. By cutting in an angular and graphic way, splicing the body into sections yet knowing when to soften it up for luxurious winter-appropriate cocoons?  Anthony Vaccarello did all of that to stay true to his love of black (which he has his Belgian roots to thank) whilst elevating his position as a young designer in Paris that is now starting to get the attention he deserves judging by the front row attendance. The focus and level of restraint in the collection, beyond colour palette choice was what made Vaccarello stand out on a show-light first day of Paris Fashion Week.

The starting point and the opener was a cashmere felt coat which then progressed into a series of dresses, jackets and skirts in the same fabric but augmented by tinsel embroidery, safety pins that looked more ornate when placed in linear formation that ran down the sides and train-track cut-outs forming lines that were slightly Mondrian-esque. The tight and short silhouettes of Vaccarello’s last season loosened up with the use of felt and ribbed velvet, especially in the drop waisted tunics that crossed Medieval with the twenties in one fell decade-mish-mash swoop. If it sounds like too much was packed into a collection, it was of course the black that unified everything but we can expect a different shade from Vaccarello yet, who’s definitely got a lot more to give as he begins to make real impact.   
 
Dazed Digital: What was the starting point for the collection?
Anthony Vaccarello:
The idea was to start from a coat out of a felt and then to cut that coat into graphic dresses – something feminine but in a masculine material that gives warmth. The girl is still sexy but she’s not naked on the street – she’s protected.  Also, the dresses are supposed to be.
 
DD: I also detected a Medieval element to the collection, almost like a contemporary Joan of Arc.
Anthony Vaccarello:
Exactly. The inspiration was to mix the twenties decade with Medieval. I developed a chainmail that moves like a jersey that puts a contemporary spin on the Medieval element. The inspiration was also the artist Pierre Soulages for the texture of the black, to have shiny and matte together as well as Piet Mondrian for the lines.   
 
DD: Do you think you’ll always use black as a foundation for your work?
Anthony Vaccarello:
It’s important for me to concentrate on cut and texture and colours and prints can somehow confused that.  However, I don’t want to just use black. Maybe in a future collection there might be some colour! We’ll see…

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