Anthony Vaccarello debuted a slinky, sexy new menswear collection in Berlin last night
Welcome to Berlin, the hedonistic home of Berghain, Brutalism, and big hot paper trays of currywurst. What the city is less known for, however, is its high-fashion scene: sure, it’s got its own dedicated fashion week, but brands like GmbH and Ottolinger largely leave Germany behind in favour of the bright lights of Paris. Tonight, though, that all changed, as Anthony Vaccarello picked it as the destination of his SS24 menswear show and brought a dose of signature Saint Laurent elegance to its streets. And while the Yves connection was perhaps harder to decipher than at his SS23 show, which whisked the fashion crowd to the desert just outside Marrakesh – widely known as the spiritual home of the house – actually, on closer inspection, Berlin made total sense. Back in the 70s, the late designer spent loads of time hanging out with close friend and collaborator Helmut Newton and his cohort of creatives at late night Charlottenberg spot Paris Bar, and were he around a bit later, like come on: we don’t think he’d have been adverse to a little visit to a darkroom here and there. But on to the main event: here’s everything you need to know about the SS24 Saint Laurent men’s show.
IT WAS STAGED IN AN ICONIC BERLIN LANDMARK
Saint Laurent might have ditched its location overlooking the Eiffel Tower – timing the start of the show so as to coincide with the structure’s hourly sparkling – but Vaccarello’s SS24 venue was no less slick or impressive. The space in question was the Neue Nationalgalerie, which, in a city full of modernist masterpieces, is probably one of the most impressive. With hallways dotted with priceless artworks by Dalí, Picasso, and Klee, the French house took over a dramatic pavilion to present its latest proposition and ushered its audience into an intimate inner circle protected by heavy, floor-sweeping black curtains. With guests assembling themselves in front of floor to ceiling windows, Vaccarello lit the set with a singular, almost blinding white cube, which acted ‘like a sun rising from the centre of the city at dusk’.
SOME PRETTY STELLAR NAMES SHIPPED IN
The Little Mermaid’s Jessica Alexander flew into Berlin for the show, taking her seat on the front row in one of the incredible wide-shouldered suit jackets and a slinky pencil skirt from February’s women’s collection. Coi Leray was also on the guestlist, slipping into a lace second-skin bodysuit which caused the crowd outside to go wild, much like they did when K-pop star Jeonghan from Seventeen emerged from his car and climbed up the stone stairs that led into the venue.
THE COLLECTION WAS QUINTESSENTIALLY SAINT LAURENT
…and as the saying goes, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Picking up where Vaccarello’s womenswear offering left off, the first few looks out of the gate were topped off with boxy suit jackets with exaggerated, make-space shoulders, as layered over crisp white shirts and neat bow ties – with one look in particular giving off some heavy Lydia Tár vibes (which would make sense, given the controversial maestro is herself based in Berlin). Further into the show, things softened slightly, as sharp edges made way for diaphanous silk chiffon halter-necks with pussybow-esque ties which billowed out behind the boys as they walked.
Slinky satin and see-through vests were cut to the navel and tucked into high-waisted, ankle-grazing cigarette trousers, and there was a smattering of Yves’ fave leopard print dotted throughout – namely across nipped-in trench coats and brilliantly seedy little going-out tops. Vaccarello named this collection Each Man Kills The Thing He Loves, and seeing the looks roll out one after another it came to make total sense. In his sleek, dark tailoring, hair slicked back and eyes hidden by sleek black sunglasses, there’s something devilish about the SS24 Saint Laurent man – he might kill whatever it is he loves, but he’s also 100 per cent going to kill your ego when he absolutely leaves you on read.
THE PARTY WAS MAJOR
Post-show, Saint Laurent shipped guests off to the industrial behemoth that is Kraftwerk – now home to must-visit club Tresor – for a sleek, chic dinner at a seemingly endless table lit only candles (yes, it was hot). Later, dinner made way for dancing as former Berliner and Berghain resident Honey Dijon took over the decks, with a high point of the set coming when she mixed Tina Turner’s “What’s Love Got To Do With It” into a massive techno banger. Also on the line-up was rising Belgian DJ Charlotte de Witte, whose hardcore set pulled the Berlin cool kids onto the dancefloor, and the legendary Boys Noize who shut things down until 4am. Not bad for a Monday night.