by Long Nguyen

The skylight just after sunset enhanced the view of the downtown tip of Manhattan, with the World Trade Center anchoring a sleuth of high-rise towers still lite from inside and the closeness of the competing buildings on the Jersey City side. The audience sitting on a steel scaffolding set with black marble flooring that Saint Laurent built for the brand’s debut Spring Summer 2019 menswear show under Anthony Vaccarello.  The setting provided a compelling environment for the ultra urban chic and laissez faire attitudes that is essential to the Saint Laurent menswear which for the past two years have been shown together with the women’s during Paris show season.    

An aura of the 70’s permeated the show from the moments the first model emerged wearing the classic skinny black pant and jeans now done in high waist version and a cropped black wool jacket with leather cowboy motif at the shoulder to the last model in a black high-waist pleated pants and cropped embroidered evening jacket but it was the 70’s era that included some of YSL’s iconic fashion items like the saharienne, the lace-up khaki safari jacket that first appeared in the 1968 Rive Gauche collection – now in black leather and belted and high waist pants that the designer himself worn at the time remixed for todays market of cool things.  

The show contained a vast array of merchandises sure to be commercial must haves – black wool single-breasted coats, leather jackets of various shapes, silk shirts in black and gold paisley, decorated jeans jacket, or velour blousons with golden embroideries.  In a nod to the currency of gender fluidity about ten top female models rocked the menswear on the runway including Kaia Gerber and Mica Arganaraz completely blending in with the guys.  In lieu of a finale where all the models marched out again in refrain, a selected group of guys bare and silver painted chest with black sequin pants and scarves and bandanas around their necks.  The long running passion for underground music morphed into clothes well imbued with the lifestyle and sartorial practices of the kids making the music.  

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Written By Long Nguyen