After nearly a year as creative director of Saint Laurent, Anthony Vaccarello accepted an exclusive interview with “T”. What kind of baptism is required by a qualified successor to renew the glorious history of this French fashion house in Saint Laurent's three fashion houses.
When Saint Laurent's new creative director, Anthony Vaccarello, said that when I met with the offer, I was really puzzled. Was it in his own home? No, he refers to the fashion house in Saint Laurent, which is the headquarters of the brand.
But which fashion house? After all, Saint Laurent has 3 houses in Paris. Its use and style are unique, just like the relationship between the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
What we are talking about now is Yves Saint Laurent, the fashion world’s “sage”—a great modernist fashion pioneer that lets women wear men in suits and design sophisticated and painful artists. It is also a 20th century fashion style. Creator. In the eyes of fashion practitioners, especially in the eyes of the French, Saint Laurent is a fashion designer who has recently become a god. Saint Laurent’s first fashion house is located on Rue de l’Université, on the left bank of the Seine, “Rive Gauche”—Saint Laurent named it in 1966 as his own high-end clothing line. This place is very close to Karl Lagerfeld's apartment. He is an enemy and friend of Yves Saint Laurent, but most of the time, the two are enemies. And Yves Saint Laurent’s own apartment was just a few blocks away on Rue de Babylone. The Rue de l'Université's fashion house is the creative hub of the Saint Laurent company: this 17th century mansion undergoes a complex renovation before it is put into use and a garden is built where the plants are trimmed into regular geometry shape.
Hedi Slimane, Vaccarello's predecessor, decided on the overall architectural tone of the decoration style and the modernism of the new school with the distinctive French design elements. But when he was in office, he basically lived in Los Angeles. Today, it is where Vaccarello works. The workshops he worked for were traditionally divided into two groups: "tailleur" and "floury" (flou), just like the authentic French haute couture houses. There is also a Saint Laurent fashion house on rue de Bellechasse: it was formerly a monastery and the former site of the French Ministry of Defense. At the moment, only the architectural framework remains. In the future, it will become Saint Laurent’s corporate headquarters.
Although the financial prospects of many luxury brands today are not optimistic, Saint Laurent is facing difficulties. In 2016, the turnover increased by more than 25%, and the annual turnover exceeded the USD 1 billion mark for two consecutive years. Today, Saint Laurent’s turnover is three times that of five years ago, and 2016 figures show that it has become the second largest brand in the Kering Group's luxury segment. (Kaiyun holds most of the shares of Saint Laurent Corporation.) Against the background that the company holds a lot of funds and the brand structure is under reconstruction, Vaccarello showed the world his first fashion show to take over as creative director in September last year.
The show has an arc lamp for film shooting, and a 10-millimeter YSL abbreviation sign neon, which is like a moving fence or a fishing hook or a Damocles. What the sword is like is determined according to each person’s different imagination and humor. I think Vaccarello may be hoping to meet me here. The last Saint Laurent fashion house is located at Avenue Marceau 5. If the first address represents Saint Laurent's creativity and the second address represents the business mind of the brand, then this address is the embodiment of his soul. Here is Saint Laurent's former haute couture fashion house, tailor-made clothing tailored for customers, including some of the richest and most discerning female customers in the world. Although the building itself still retains its original appearance, the workshop was closed after the retirement of Mr. Yves Saint Laurent in 2002. Since then, it has become the office of the "Pierre Bergé-Yves Saint Laurent Foundation", a charitable organization dedicated to the display of art and fashion. From its founding until April of last year, the charity foundation and Yves Saint Laurent had a perfect combination of life and interest.
This fall, after many rounds of renovations, this place will be reopened with a simpler name: "Musée Yves Saint Laurent Museum". (In addition, a branch will be built in Marrakesh, Morocco, where the street is just Rue Yves Saint Laurent.) Avenue Marceau's fashion house includes the history of Yves Saint Laurent: more than 20,000 pieces of clothing , accessories, plans, and a variety of items that can resonate with people. The Haute Couture Workshop and 7 Antiquities Preservation Experts' Offices are all located here. This building used to be an old gallery. The gallery’s staff restaurant has now become a place for hats, shoes and jewellery, but they strictly abide by the method of preservation of museum displays. In the room where the Saint Laurent design manuscript was stored, there was a compressed gas fire extinguisher on the wall. In the event of a fire, these cylinders will be automatically blown open, allowing steam to fill the entire room to protect the manuscript from damage. “They are the most important collections,” said Olivier Flaviano, director of the Musée Yves Saint Laurent museum in Paris, who is about to open, referring to the thousands of seasonal manuscripts. “Because every one is touched by Yves Saint Laurent. Touched.” This is the Tutankhamun tomb in the fashion world.