We all have those destinations that help to lull us into a calm, undisturbed trance amidst the forever-turbulent events life hurls at us – the ultimate respite, if you will. For Yves Saint Laurent, that destination was Marrakech. Having first discovered the vibrant, bronze-toned city in 1966, the designer found peace and escape away from the hectic nature of Parisian working life in its slower tempo. Now, looking to honour the Moroccan city and its unwavering charm, Anthony Vaccarello and the house revisit Marrakech in order to unveil Saint Laurent’s SS23 collection.
Choosing the hazy Agafay desert as their backdrop, the creative director and London-based artist and stage designer, Es Devlin, dreamed up an awe-invoking set which featured a luminous, almost other-worldly ring, which harshly juxtaposed its sandy backdrop as an ode to the ebbs and flows of life. Whatsmore, the existential edge that ripples throughout is amplified by the words of Paul Bowles’ 1949 novel, The Sheltering Sky, which read, “We think of life as an inexhaustible well. Yet everything happens a certain number of times, and a very small number, really. How many more times will you remember a certain afternoon of your childhood, some afternoon that’s so deeply a part of your being that you can’t even conceive of your life without it? Perhaps four or five times more. Perhaps not even. How many more times will you watch the full moon rise? Perhaps twenty. And yet it all seems limitless.”
Profound as the set may be, that is not to say that the clothes themselves do not carry the same weight and depth as the poetic statement that inspired Vaccarello to start crafting his latest menswear display. An ode to the power of monochrome and neutral hues, we are treated to a sleek and elevated take on the all-black outfit as the elegant codes of the house are honoured through the arrival of tuxedos and boxy elements, matched with light-weight shirts. Marrakech’s influence can be felt, however, when observing the universal fluidity in silhouette, evident throughout, giving the collection an undeniably relaxed edge.
An ode to life and the beauty of its uncertainty, Saint Laurent’s Men’s SS23 Collection signifies a new, complex direction for the house – one that we cannot wait to see play out.
Head below to watch Saint Laurent’s SS23 show…