PARIS FASHION WEEK
Saint Laurent’s Summer ’23 Collection Was a Sexy, Slithery Ode to the ’80s
For Saint Laurent’s Summer ’23 show, creative director Anthony Vaccarello brought eighties elegance to a dazzling, Eiffel Tower-backed runway with a colorful collection fit for the Instagram-era. Strong shoulders, sumptuous leather, and sheer elongated silhouettes were met with nostalgic references to Yves Saint Laurent’s 1985 couture collection—including sculptural statement jewelry as well as the house’s classic hooded ‘capuche’ pieces. To hear more about the show, we called up our editor-in-chief Mel Ottenberg for a quick chat about slithery coats, sexy sandals, and Brigitte Nielson look-a-likes.
MEL OTTENBERG: Hey.
TAYLORE SCARABELLI: Hi. How was Saint Laurent?
OTTENBERG: So, it was at the Eiffel Tower, like always. It was—it’s very slithery. It’s very evil and tight and you can’t walk, but it doesn’t matter.
SCARABELLI: Hot. I feel like I’ve seen so many hoods on the runway this season and I’m happy about it.
OTTENBERG: Yeah. It’s giving Grace Jones. It’s giving Katoucha [Niane], who was a major Saint Laurent muse. It’s like 1985 to 1988 YSL. The statement jewelry and the really impossible to walk in dresses and the house models and…
SCARABELLI: The shoulder.
OTTENBERG: Very mean, very big shoulders, very long dresses, and really hot sandals. It’s like a flip flop kind of thing, the kind that just has the little loop over your big toe. I would say that those two sandals are the hottest sandals I’ve seen in many years. And there were lots of models giving Brigitte Nielsen, I don’t know who they were.
SCARABELLI: Wow. I love it. And I love her.
OTTENBERG: I love how nasty it is. It’s very, it’s gross.
SCARABELLI: I’m scrolling. I’m into the sunglasses at night vibe. I love the cuffs. It’s kind of just everything that I wish I could have and so I’m very biased in that regard. It’s what I want and need. Oh, I just saw the Brigitte Nielsen lookalike.
OTTENBERG: Yeah. She looks real good, but it’s also just surprising because you just don’t see that body on the runway.
SCARABELLI: I’m about to style my hair like that.
OTTENBERG: Yeah, you should.
SCARABELLI: What I like about Saint Laurent is that they’re doing nostalgia in a way that feels so elevated and modern. It’s nostalgic but it’s refreshing. Everyone else is stuck in the Y2K era in that really, trashy over the top way—whereas this is so refined and elegant and wearable.
OTTENBERG: Right. It’s so eighties. And they have a formula. That’s cool.
SCARABELLI: It’s like, take all the bad parts out of the eighties and you get only the classy shit.
OTTENBERG: Yeah. I also liked how they didn’t have any complicated underwear. They went back to a full thong as opposed to some really stringy blah blah blah, which I’ve just gotten sort of bored of seeing, you know what I mean?
SCARABELLI: Oh, under the sheer dresses?
OTTENBERG: I was just like, Oh, I like how the underwear is not trying to be something. It’s just fucking cool. And the bodies are cool.
SCARABELLI: Oh wow I’m looking at the coat with the giant shoulders and the blue leather that’s all the way to the floor. I just love it. It’s so nasty.
OTTENBERG: I love a little bit of color. I love the hardcore shoulders. I love those flip flop stilettos. Oh my gosh. Okay I’m at my next destination. I’ll talk to you later.
SCARABELLI: Okay. Bye!