The Saint Laurent House presented its spring-summer 2023 men’s show in the Agafay Desert of Morocco in front of Catherine Deneuve, Béatrice Dalle and Dominic Fike. If he wanted to be environmentally responsible, the event flirts with greenwashing.
The optical phenomenon of air reflections arises from the deflection of light rays by overlays of air layers of different heat, in an atmosphere where temperature, pressure and humidity do not vary vertically according to the normal. You can therefore be in the middle of the desert and get the impression of seeing an oasis appear out of nowhere … or a fashion show. Gold there it was not a mirage, but the last sight of a major fashion brand.
On July 15, 2022, the House of Saint Laurent artistically directed by Anthony Vaccarello (since April 2016) presented its new spring-summer 2023 men’s collection. Either outside of men’s fashion week planned for this purpose. And with good reason: she paraded in Agafay, a desert located about thirty kilometers from Marrackeh. It is therefore on the outskirts of the red city, at the heights of the High Atlas massif in Morocco, that slender and androgynous silhouettes strolled.
Saint Laurent fashion show for men spring-summer 2023 in the Agafay desert
In the middle of the beige dunes, there was also a work by the artist Es Devlin, in the form of a giant luminous ring on the water.. A scenography by Anthony Vaccarello, inspired by a passage from the novel And tea in the Sahara (1949) by the American author Paul Bowles (1910-1999): How many times do you still see the full moon rise? Maybe twenty times. And yet it all seems limitless “.
This monumental installation could evoke a mirage of a minimalist oasis as much as a twilight moon (or a parody of the series Stargate SG-1). What serves as a fleeting backdrop for floating trench coats, airy velvet coats, wide floating high-waisted trousers and many airy pussy-bow blouses. And of course many grain de poudre tuxedosthe house’s stylistic signature.
Behind the fashion morning of a fashion show, greenwashing?
If we can find this collection sublime, and rejoice that Anthony Vaccarello has avoided the pitfall with a collection tribute to Morocco in the first place, we can also marvel at its ecological footprint. Some media welcome the House’s efforts to offset its CO2 footprint. Just like Vanity Fair France who is writing:
“By marching outside the official calendar and therefore not being able to take advantage of the press, influencers and buyers present at Paris Fashion Week, it is essential for her to make an impression – what this show is like no other [sic] has undeniably succeeded. But at a time when environmental awareness is sharper with each season [sic], Saint Laurent has implemented a large system that aims to limit the footprint of the event as much as possible, starting with consultation with local experts on flora and fauna, especially reptiles and birds. Along the paths traveled to take guests to the place [sic] of the parade, specific pipe systems have been put in place to allow animals, especially those in humid environments, to take shelter. The used water, which is not potable, will then be used for irrigation projects in the Agafay desert.
However, it pretends to ignore that all these beautiful people invited, as Catherine Deneuve, Béatrice Dalle, the actress fromEuphoria Dominic Fike, or the member of the South Korean boy band GOT7 Mark Tuan, was certainly not by chance in Marrakech on the parade day. They were definitely chartered by the house to attend this show with 10 minutes of peak time (this is the average time for a parade and what the video confirms Literally of the event, which lasts 9:47 minutes …). The same goes for the model stand and Saint Laurent staff to make up, dress, feed and hydrate this cohort.
A parade representing the ambivalence of industry in the face of the climate crisis
Far from being an exception, this parade and its media reception illustrate once again the ambivalence of the fashion industry, not to mention the aporia, in relation to environmental problems. She who will both arouse the desire and renew it, by linking new collections and spectacular presentations together. (therefore expensive from an economic, social and environmental point of view) to make people dream, and invite beautiful people to talk. At the same time wants to present himself as aware of the accelerated ecocide that we all suffer fromeven if it means pouring in greenwashing and social washing (pretend to care about social justice for marketing purposes). And the fashion press, largely funded by these luxury brands, has no choice for its own economic survival other than to repeat ad absurdum the linguistic elements that the latter provide to try in vain to justify this whole system.
While France (like many other countries) is currently experiencing a terrible heat wave, gossipers can say that the French house of Saint Laurent will soon no longer have to go to Morocco to find a desert where one can parade…
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Headline photo credit: Courtesy of Saint Laurent.