Saint Laurent Spring/Summer 2024 Men’s Runway Review

Anthony Vaccarello continues his Saint Laurent world tour for Spring/Summer 2024, following on from his women’s Winter 2024 showcase in Paris, Paris Fashion Week Men’s FW23 offering, and the Moroccan affair that took place for SS23 with another geographical landmark-honoring show, this time in Berlin.

Specifically, the lauded designer takes over Berlin’s Neue Nationalgalerie, the last major project designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. First opened in 1968, the Neue Nationalgalerie is an icon of the classical modernism movement, defined by Rohe’s then-visionary glass pavilion that’s topped with a steel roof. Thus, it goes without saying that this is a far cry from the Moroccan deserts of before, or even Parisian-chic atmospheres — instead, Vaccarello is serving a hard-core Saint Laurent for this menswear season.

For the designer, it’s about showing an evolved identity. What can Saint Laurent be to the contemporary man, whose wardrobe (for SS24), is informed by the House’s womenswear line, and vice versa? As expected, sharp tailoring is at the fore, but upon seeing the fabrics up close, it’s clear the structure is met with weightlessness — a summer-ready ensemble if we do say so ourselves. The lightness is conflicted by volume, as pants rise high and fall in pleated formation to the ankle, and shoulders are often equally roomy, or devoid of being a shoulder whatsoever in a nod to the House’s history.

Contemporary touches, and ones that feel apt in a Queer mecca like Berlin, are rife. Vaccarello’s quintessential Saint Laurent tuxedo subverts traditions when paired with a satin tank top that delicately caresses the body, while a typically feminine couture material — Mousseline de Soie — has been manipulated to allow its gauze-like, open-weave, semi-transparent qualities to deliver equal amounts of sex and formality.

It goes without saying, Vaccarello’s work was destined to be an evolution of his now-signature Saint Laurent aesthetic — and thus, it was destined to be rather gorgeous. While this rang true for SS24, Vaccarello also showed progression, metaphorically and literally, as his proportions doubled down on the promise to bring us volume.

Those shoulders were sculpted like the marble slabs that loomed in the Neue Nationalgalerie, bricks on either side of the model’s head that cinched into a tightly packed waist, accented with an equally slim belt. It drew the eye to the trousers, which were high-waisted and grew from cigarette-skinny to billowing and bold.

Vaccarello emulated the silhouettes with fabrics; Mousseline drifted across the skin and scantily clad the torso, serving voyeurism, sex, and yet still high levels of sophistication. And it was this that underpinned the entire collection.

Sarongs cut in silk knotted at the shoulder and fell like feminine gowns behind the wearer, and in doing so, Vaccarello softened what could be his strongest collection to date. Off-the-shoulder moments were glamorous but altered in jersey fabric, while silk was used multiple times to wrap the body up in opulence on a tight-fitting number that bared collar bones and a fresher, more elegant identity — the latter of which is bolstered by the subtlety of elements like bow ties incorporated into shirts, subverting the norm as they arrive in white, not black.

As for footwear, it was quintessential Saint Laurent, with dozens of slim-fitting heeled boots glistening in their patent leather and prestige material constructions. They fell into the background, used to elevate a collection that is more romantic, more at ease, more open, and more progressive than anything that’s come before it.

Five years in, Vaccarello has evidently found his stride. If there is one takeaway from the SS24 show, it’s to wrap up in so much, that you inadvertently reveal plenty to keep the eye pleased. And in doing so, you ooze the Saint Laurent attitude, a quality that sells itself for the House.

Saint Laurent Men’s SS24 can be seen in the gallery and video above.

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