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EXCLUSIVE: Anthony Vaccarello Womenswear SS13

The young Belgian designer rides a wave with his collection of newfound fluidity

PhotographyLea ColomboTextSusie Lau

Anthony Vaccarello doesn’t do themes, jumping around from places of exotica to another or Tumblr-surfing for inspiration. His women as indicated by the stray few images tacked on to the walls of his studio (showcased here) rarely differ from anything than female figures who are strong, sensual, with a trace of vulnerability and often in a state of interesting déshabille. Vaccarello has long been occupied with the idea of women who might find themselves in arresting situations, be it emerging from the pool or shivering at night with a jacket draped over her. It is with this same approach that Vaccarello once again takes inspiration from a girl in compromising situ. "I imagined a girl coming out of the sea and with the fabric getting wet and for there to be a feeling of a wave in the clothing," Vaccarello explained afterwards. A wet t-shirt reference could be seen as louche but Vaccarello turned that idea of sodden fabric bunching up, into his very own 'wave'. This 'wave' coursed through the collection as the designer turned to the Fortuny pleat to aerate and accelerate movement. For instance a one-shouldered bandeau top billowed at one side of the chest with a pleated curve. This imaginary wave also dipped up and down in the skirts that were artfully draped and moulded to the body, using neoprene banding and hardware to toughen things up a little.

Vaccarello ensured that his identity as an up-and-coming designer remained consistent though as opening looks of black and white button 'n' zip shirts, swimwear bustiers and easy to throw-on jackets cemented and broadened the collection so that it could live in a day-to-day urban context. It was in the final passage where he really cut loose, eschewing monochrome for a lame jacquard that resembled the inside of an oyster with its shimmering tones of turquoise and peach and florals, snakeskin and leopard spots all glinting, as they glided down the catwalk in a slinky trouser suit as well as on another showstopper dress on Karlie Kloss, who was quick to sing Vaccarello's praises on video.

His studio may be free of inspiration image overload but it's in the physical fine details and techniques of his work where he excels at. There are never long conversations of arbitrary references and hours after the show, Vaccarello was already cogitating about the next upcoming AW season without yet an inkling of what his mysterious girl is up to. All the better that she remains mysterious as it seems to be working in Vaccarello’s favour.

Studio visit and inspiration image photography Susie Bubble