Welcome to the new Saint Laurent, under Anthony Vaccarello's creative direction.



Hedi Slimane Lives on In Vaccarello's New Saint Laurent Campaign

First came Hedi Slimane‘s mic drop. Then the appointment of Anthony Vaccarello as Saint Laurent‘s new creative director. And now, after a couple leaked campaign images, Saint Laurent debuted #YSL01, a four-part video series directed by Nathalie Canguilhem that’s presumably part of the label’s FW16 campaign. The videos provide a well-rounded picture of what’s in store for Saint Laurent under Vaccarello’s creative direction.

Slimane left an indelible mark on the brand with his punk, subversive aesthetic. He cast a female model to star in the SS13 menswear campaign, as well as a number of punk- and grunge-influenced musicians for his other campaigns including Courtney Love and Marilyn Manson.

Marilyn Manson in Hedi Slimane's FW13 campaign for Saint Laurent.
Marilyn Manson in Hedi Slimane’s FW13 campaign for Saint Laurent.

After quickly injecting the brand with a renegade attitude, and then—just as quickly—abandoning his post, many are left wondering where the brand will go from here. Well in case anyone had any doubts about whether or not Slimane’s legacy would live on at Saint Laurent, this video should clear that up.

In 2012, when Slimane was appointed creative director, he not only moved the design studio from Paris to Los Angeles, but he also rebranded the label entirely, both by introducing a new aesthetic and dropping the “Yves. ” And in case you couldn’t tell from the above video, it appears the brand is sticking with the (conspicuously Yves-less) name, Saint Laurent Paris.

If Vaccarello does intend to drastically change the aesthetic of the brand, then he’s definitely doing it gradually. The series of videos—all in black and white, with lanky limbs flailing about—isn’t a huge departure from the ads under Slimane’s direction. There is, however, one noticeable difference – the models.

Or, to be more precise, the healthier looking male models. Though we can’t say whether this choice has to do with a new brand vision or just practicality; after all, you have to have some meat on you to hold some of the acrobatic-looking poses. We think.

And in keeping with this motif, the girls cast in the videos seem to sport a much more natural look compared to Slimane’s crop of models. Where Slimane’s girls were typically heavy on the black eyeliner, Vaccarello’s don’t seem to be wearing any makeup at all.

Model Flo Dron in the FW15 campaign, under Hedi Slimane's direction.
Model Flo Dron in the FW15 campaign, under Hedi Slimane’s direction.

There’s no telling what the future holds for the legendary house – whether Vaccarello will completely stray from his predecessor’s influence or not. Whichever direction SLP goes in, however, we only hope for one thing: tiaras.

Images via Saint Laurent.

Stay tuned to Milk for more on the new Saint Laurent.

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