Saint Laurent Men’s Makes a Sharp Debut in Berlin

Anthony Vaccarello’s sleek Spring/Summer 2024 collection’s clean lines mirrored the precision of Mies van der Rohe’s modernist masterpiece in the German capital




A square glass-and-matte black steel structure in Berlin, the last major project of modernist architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, housed a trove of essential Saint Laurent themes as Anthony Vaccarello staged his precisely tailored men’s Spring/Summer 2024 collection inside. The pavilion, home to the modern art–filled Neue Nationalgalerie that was built in 1968 and restored by Pritzker-winning architect David Chipperfield in 2021, is an airy open-plan structure that foregrounded both the sleek and the free-floating elements of Vaccarello’s tightly edited 50-look presentation. Titled Each Man Kills the Thing He Loves — after the phrase in Oscar Wilde’s The Ballad of Reading Gaol, written in exile after the poet and playwright was jailed on a “gross indecency” conviction — the designs build on previous collections’ blend of masculine and feminine elements, with ever-sharper tailoring. Models with precisely cut, slicked-back hair walked straight, precise lines wearing broad-shouldered jackets, high-waisted flute pants, and some of the most weightless shirts imaginable.

Leopard prints and scaled-up polka-dot shirts topped the uniformly narrow trousers, as did satin tanks and one-shouldered shirts. Vaccarello’s Fall/Winter 2023 women’s collection inspired the new men’s looks, including an opening trove of boldly cut tuxedos and aviators with universal appeal. The versatile looks appear to have classic tailoring but light interior construction; couture fabrics, including mousseline, transform the menswear into increasingly modern incarnations of house codes. The androgyny, another favored trope of Yves Saint Laurent, propelled the house’s continuous evolution forward while keeping its past firmly in mind. Elegantly clean silhouettes that matched the rigorous structural precision of the Mies van der Rohe–designed space also brought to mind another Wilde line: “You can never be overdressed or overeducated.”






June 16, 2023.

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