Styled: Jacob K
On Wednesday, Saint Laurent—the storied French label now under the guidance of designer Anthony Vaccarello—debuted a short new campaign video, entitled “#YSL09,” its number indicating the sequence of campaigns the brand has released so far. Shot in Los Angeles, it features French actress Charlotte Gainsbourg roaming an abandoned warehouse, wearing one of the brand’s new one-sleeved, glittery minidresses with YSL heels; she takes slow, deliberate steps, swiping at an invisible opponent. Her eyes are rimmed with kohl; her hair is perfectly tousled. Her weapon: not a baseball bat like Beyoncé, nor a black two-by-four as it might first seem, but rather the brand's new, extraordinary long statement clutch.
Directed by longtime Vaccarello collaborator Nathalie Canguilhem, the video is just a preview of the Fall 2017 collection from which the look was pulled. It also heralds a more serious relationship between Gainsbourg and the label; she appeared front-row at Anthony Vaccarello’s debut for the brand last fall along with her sister, Lou Doillon, and her mother, Jane Birkin—herself a Saint Laurent darling in Hedi Slimane’s day. (Birkin’s own recent campaign, a series of Slimane-lensed images depicting her in one of the label’s iconic Le Smoking jackets, debuted just more than a year ago.) She graced the front row again during the Fall 2017 show, and she’s selected Saint Laurent looks for several recent premieres in the interim. Her new, official role as a muse of the brand comes as little surprise—the only surprise, in fairness, is that it didn’t happen sooner.
Just as the video premiered online, Gainsbourg was preparing for the opening ceremony of this year’s Cannes Film Festival, where her new film, Ismael’s Ghosts with Marion Cotillard, premiered on the festival’s first night. It was fitting, then, that she wore a sparkling pewter minidress from the same collection to the premiere. While the dress had appeared on the runway in slightly longer form, hitting the model mid-calf, Gainsbourg wore it shortened substantially; in lieu of Vaccarello’s polarizing slouch boots, she wore modest pumps, her eyes brightened with a swipe of silver and smoky corners. Actress Robin Wright also wore Saint Laurent, opting for a strong-shouldered, black, sparkly minidress; their '80s-inspired, nightclub-ready looks stood out among the sea of formal gowns that are often Cannes fodder.
The moment—video and red carpet—marked the convergence of all things quintessentially French: French It girl and actress Gainsbourg, French film festival, and historic French label, French filmmaker. Well, except for the fact the video was actually shot in Los Angeles.
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