Yves Saint Laurent returns to Eiffel Tower runway

Saint Laurent's Spring/Summer 2022 show at Paris Fashion Week
A model presents a creation by designer Anthony Vaccarello as part of his Spring/Summer 2022 women's ready-to-wear collection show for fashion house Saint Laurent, in front of the Eiffel Tower during Paris Fashion Week, in Paris, France, September 28, 2021. REUTERS/Stephane Mahe

September 29, 2021

By Mimosa Spencer

PARIS (Reuters) – French fashion house Yves Saint Laurent returned to the runway for an in-person fashion show under the Eiffel Tower on Tuesday, sending models down a catwalk after dusk with the glittering monument as a backdrop.

For the first show of the Kering-owned label on its home turf in over a year and a half, Saint Laurent creative director Anthony Vaccarello drew up a lineup of skin tight bodysuits and sharply tailored eveningwear, bringing extra glamour to Paris Fashion Week.

The French capital is hosting the final stretch of a month of global industry events, which have marked the return of splashy launch parties and celebrity-packed runway shows to New York, London and Milan.

Most luxury houses put their in-person shows – mainstays of the annual fashion calendar – on pause during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

With infection rates slowing and restrictions easing in Europe, dozens of labels are holding in-person fashion shows throughout the fashion week, which runs through Oct. 5.

At the Saint Laurent show, bare-backed models with chunky, gold bracelets strode on spiky-heeled shoes in front of a wall of strobe lights, which erupted into a waterfall for the finale, whipping up spray and wind that sent guests in the front row ducking for protection.

At the outset of the coronavirus pandemic last year, the brand exited the official calendar of Paris fashion shows and set off on its own schedule, taking its audience to remote settings through the screen, filming models on steep sand dunes in one instance, and in a barren Arctic setting with looming icebergs for another. 

The show in Paris on Tuesday caused traffic jams and a crowd of screaming fans gathered for a glimpse of one of the guests, K-pop star Rosé.

Among the last of the celebrity guests to take their seats before the show began was Catherine Deneuve, the 77-year-old French movie actress whose public appearances have grown infrequent since she experienced a stroke in 2019.

(Editing by Christian Lowe and Marguerita Choy)