Shot by David Sims, the whole thing is a brooding, monochromatic portrait of a bi-coastal, silver-haired artist who likes to wear thick-rimmed glasses – like David Cronenburg. Sharpened shoulders, deep-necked Le Smokings, and swollen faux-fur jackets key into that louche, 80s attitude that collected on the sandbanks of Marrakech when the brand debuted its SS23 offering in July. Though it would have been easy to approach the collection with a tourist’s gaze – all djellabas, Moroccan tiling, and fatigued linens – Vaccarello travelled through his adolescence spent as an indie kid on Antwerp’s fashion scene (which is probably around the time he also became familiar with the work of Jarmusch, Almodóvar, Ferrara, and Cronenburg).
There was an appropriately cinematic mood to that show, too, which climaxed beneath an LED installation designed by Es Devlin – inspired by Paul Bowles’ 1949 novel The Sheltering Sky – rising up from a circular lagoon to illuminate the desert like the Eye of Sauron. Though there are clear links between the current menswear and womenswear operations at Saint Laurent (a chic, rich bitch coupledom) the SS23 campaigns draw a line in the sand: the women’s imprint has quietly returned to Saint Laurent’s 1961 logo, where the menswear imagery still feels indebted to the cool froideur of Hedi Slimane’s tenure at the brand. Click through the gallery above to see the rest of the Director’s Cut campaign, and watch the accompanying Jim Jarmusch video above.