We all have a place we consider our haven, a sanctuary that can emancipate the mind from mental slavery.

For late designer Yves Saint Laurent – founder of the eponymous brand – it was Marrakech. From the moment he discovered the city in 1966, it became his intimate refuge where he enjoyed a calmer, easier rhythm of life in contrast to his busy Parisian work schedule. With an eminent significance to the couturier, the maison held its SS23 presentation at the very location, providing an evocative backdrop to the forward-looking collection. 

Traversing a makeshift desert – conceived in collaboration with the London-based artist and stage designer Es Devlin and inspired by Paul Bowles’ 1949 novel The Sheltering Sky – in the middle of Agafay desert, models appeared in a masculine wardrobe reimagined with archetypal womenswear elements. If there ever was a line between what constitutes a ‘masculine’ wardrobe and what makes clothes ‘feminine,’ it elegantly dissolves here. More than just a fad, the blurring of gender codes nods at the grand tradition of androgyny that Yves had espoused during his tenure. 

The tuxedo, perhaps the most seminal element of the Saint Laurent vocabulary, once again gets reinterpreted, refined and imbued with possibility, a continuation of the variations designer Anthony Vaccarello explored in the brand’s Women Autumn Winter 2022 collection. In the sleek 70s’ silhouette of the brand, these suits sees new collar and shoulder solutions, single and double-breasted options, and a debonair yet modern cream iteration in lightweight silk faille. Structured and featuring clean lines, these offerings exhale a polished yet comfortable appeal; this collection gives power suits a new definition. 

Elsewhere, pussy-bow blouse, breezy silk chiffon tops, and relaxed velvet fits with a plunging décolletage were teamed with high waisted wide leg trousers. These silhouettes are globally more relaxed, reflecting an ease of life typical of Marrakech. Outer pieces also sport a similar construction and are looser, fluid, less constructed; gathered satin coats envelop the body almost to the ground, while tailored jackets have a graphic sharpness. 

As an homage to the late designer, Grain de poudre, a finely tactile wool fabric with a long association at the house – Yves Saint Laurent loved using it – makes a strong showing, recurring in multiple looks.

(Images: Saint Laurent SS23)

(Images: Saint Laurent SS23)

written by.
Amos Chin
Fashion and beauty aficionado by day; idiosyncratic (I think) Spotify Playlist Curator by night. Knows a thing or two about tattoos.

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