His latest collection, which he presented in a circus tent on the Place de la Madeleine-in the heart of Paris-is as theatrical as it is unforgettable. For his first outing for Saint Laurent, Vaccarello opened with an extraordinary feat: a live performance from dancer Michelle Dorrance, who had originally worked with Basquiat on his final dance piece, Dust Devil .
Anthony Vaccarello's first collection as the creative director of Saint Laurent was inspired by Jean-Michel Basquiat. A charismatic and rebellious artist, Basquiat began his career as a graffiti artist in New York City before making his way to the epicenter of the international art scene. He ultimately died of a heroin overdose at the age of 27, just as his artistic star was rising. The late American artist's work has become increasingly popular in recent years, and its influence can be seen across several different industries-high fashion included. For this collection, Vaccarello drew on Basquiat's neo-expressionist technique, as well as his approach to materials and color. The designer chose the Basquiat painting that served as the collection's inspiration: Golden Shadow (1982), a canvas from the artist's celebrated Gray Period. "It is one of my favorite paintings," Vaccarello said.
Laurent's new downtown line is a far cry from the brand's signature '60s-inspired pieces. The collection, which launched last week in NYC, features modern silhouettes and edgy textures.
Saint Laurent is collaborating with artist and musician Jean-Michel Basquiat for a capsule collection that pays homage to the late New York City native whose neo-expressionism paintings of the 1980s have encored in popular culture. Basquiat's "Dust Devil," one of his most famous works, inspired creative director Anthony Vaccarello to design a series of t-shirts that will be sold exclusively at Dover Street Market Paris, as well as in select Saint Laurent stores. The stylized tonal portraits represent the "ultimate freedom" Basquiat felt while painting, according to Vaccarello. AIn addition to that, Individual pieces from the collection already hit selected stores last May 1 in Paris, London and New York City. Basquiat's iconic paintings will be featured on a series of bags,including Saint Laurent's Dionysus tote and 2016 spring accessories collection. For the capsule collections' campaign, Vaccarello tapped photographer Morgan O'Donovan to shoot model Alana Zimmer and artist Baron Wolman in a studio as they created Basquiat's signature "dreadlock" look with self-made dreadlocks on their heads. In addition to the capsule collection, the team also worked with New York-based streetwear brand Supreme to create an exclusive capsule collection for its Lafayette Street store that includes hats, a bomber jacket and T-shirts.