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A sea change — and a touching tribute — at Saint Laurent’s spring 2018 runway show

The finale of the spring and summer 2018 runway collection show presented against the backdrop of the Eiffel Tower on Sept. 26 during Paris Fashion Week.
(Etienne Laurent / EPA-EFE / REX / Shutterstock )

With the spring and summer 2018 ‎runway collection, his third for the house that Yves built, Anthony Vaccarello seems to have fully caught his stride, turning out a polished, well-tailored collection with all the softness and femininity lacking in the last two seasons.

The show took place at the Trocadero fountain against the backdrop of the Eiffel Tower, which twinkled and sparkled as if filled with electric Champagne bubbles at the start and finish of the show as a touching tribute to the late Pierre Bergé, the longtime partner — in life and business — of Yves Saint Laurent.

The sharp-shouldered androgynous silhouette from past seasons was there — most memorably in a black jacket with zebra-print lapels so wide they looked like Luna-moth wings. But softening that severe look were a pair of ostrich-feather-trimmed boots that puffed around the ankles like sprays of black ink.

Looks from the Saint Laurent spring and summer 2018 runway collection.
(Alain Jocard / AFP / Getty Images)
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Tiers of fluttering ostrich-feather fringe also adorned the season’s eye-catching version of the statement boot, so tall that each models’ legs seemed to tremble delicately from mid-thigh to ankle with every step. This sense of softness and delicateness carried through to the collection’s standout billowy silhouette served up in voluminous peasant blouses, draped leopard-print tops, roomy shorts in olive drab or pleated black leather and a show-stopping parade of puffball-like mini-dresses in a range of fabrications (including the aforementioned ostrich feathers); a few tilted revealingly upward in the front, calling to mind a can-can dancer’s skirt frozen in mid-high kick.

A menswear look from the Saint Laurent spring and summer 2018 runway collection presented on Sept. 26 during Paris Fashion Week.
(Alain Jocard / AFP/Getty Images)

Vaccarello also sent a handful of menswear looks down the runway Tuesday night, the most memorable of which added pops of color to the show’s predominantly black-and-white palette. Those standouts included a rainbow-hued silk varsity jacket and another version in velvet and festooned with colored butterfly appliqués.

At the end of the show, the models hit the runway for the finale in all their billowy, trembling, pouf-skirted glory as the lights of the Eiffel Tower sprung to twinkling life behind them. Given the strength of the collection, the comparison between the twinkling lights and Champagne bubbles seemed all the more appropriate.

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adam.tschorn@latimes.com

For more musings on all things fashion and style, follow me at @ARTschorn.

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