Over the past few years, fashion has become a revolving door of trends and “aesthetics” that have relegated personal style to an afterthought. The approach has also made fashion’s rampant consumerism problem worse, suggesting that, in order to be stylish, people need to constantly change their wardrobes to meet TikTok’s algorithm.
Saint Laurent’s latest show invited us all to say goodbye to that.
On Tuesday, the house — currently led by creative director Anthony Vaccarello — unveiled a spring 2023 collection that relied heavily on a capsule wardrobe of just a few essentials: a maxi dress, a floor-length coat, gold accessories, a halter top, and trousers. The lineup began with an assortment of sheer dresses, paired with leather double-breasted coats, and continued with draped versions that featured elegant hoods, as well as a top-and-trouser combo with a wool coat. Throughout the 49-piece collection, Vaccarello exemplified the art of mix-and-match, proposing that capsule wardrobes are the future of fashion.
Personal uniforms and capsule closets have long had a stronghold in fashion, but it’s become difficult to commit to the “fewer, better things” mantra, thanks to the ubiquity of fast fashion brands and the accelerated trend cycle. It’s not just because of FOMO or the trend roulette encouraged by TikTok: The style-minded have often relied heavily on newness rather than everlasting. Saint Laurent’s lineup is not necessarily innovative — we’ve all seen floor-length coats, sheer dresses, and well-fitted trousers before — but what’s refreshing is to see a designer provide its customers (and even those without a YSL-level budget) the space and resources to continually build their wardrobe with the pieces they already have.
Take, for example, a hooded dress that appeared in a wide range of colours and was styled solo, as well as with a leather coat. Then, there’s the hooded long-sleeve tops that were paired with trousers for a night-out look and later with a wool coat and belt for a more office-ready outfit. Even the eveningwear, which Vaccarello displayed in the form of sheer, ruffled skirts and monochrome pantsuits, remained easy to mix with the other pieces, as well as the ‘80s-inspired shoulder pads on leather coats that have proven to be a classic decades later.
As trends become even trendier and fashion holds onto its “in or out” mentality, capsule closets serve to keep one’s personal style intact, no matter what that looks like. Maybe trying it the Saint Laurent way isn’t a bad idea.