Saint Laurent's Opyum shoe goes (almost) naked and why we're not calling it "sexy"
Alongside the #MeToo movement and chatter of cultural appropriation at that Gucci show dominating conversation in the industry at the moment, modest fashion is the other topic snowballing — full steam ahead. It is one editor's opinion that the choice to bare skin or not, harks of female empowerment; an individual's perogative to dress as she sees fit not for anyone but herself and, without fear of being leered at, judged, or labelled.
This is top of mind as Saint Laurent presents their latest iteration of the Opyum heel — first released in SS17 as a classic, covered pump — that has been stripped bare for spring 2018, save for two thin straps and its signature Cassandre logo heel. It echoes the modus operandi of Anthony Vaccarello's current and past collections, where skin serves as equal currency as much as the clothing themselves do. But what spoke louder, was the designer's sentiment that spring 2018 could be pegged simply to the fact that he wants the Saint Laurent girl to have fun. "She has a fun life." Period. No talk about codes of sexy in a bid to define its boundaries for women.
What we perceive as an implicit — and maybe, even unintentional — contribution to the school of thought in the modest fashion debate that argues why a woman chooses to show skin shouldn't be central to the conversation. And in doing so, neither should what she is be of contention. Scratch 'erotic' and 'fetishist'; adjectives long tied to the house, Vaccarello's personal design track record, and the style of heel in question. Replace it with freedom and fun.
While the shoe can be (and has been) easily couched as a contemporary update in Saint Laurent's code of sexy to sell a couple pairs and then some, we choose to view the new spring 2018 Opyum as a literal and figurative freedom offering to its wearer. Along with the ability to look damn fine and have fun while she's at it — no labels necessary.
Available at Saint Laurent boutiques.