Perfect Pitch: YSL

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Published October 5, 2010

 

In a season of transition, when designers are experimenting with more casual style, extreme minimalism, looser shapes, and even punk to breathe new life into clothes, it’s an extreme pleasure to see a collection in superb form.

Stefano Pilati hit his stride this season at Yves Saint Laurent in a concise lineup which touched on the YSL codes—trench coats, bow blouses, smocks, peasant skirts, 40s dresses and le Smoking—without ever getting caught up in classicism.  From the dramatic white, wide-collared trench which opened the show, accessorized with a seductive black chiffon scarf, to the streamlined jumpsuits with plunging V necks, or halter backs, there wasn’t a millimeter out of place here. The two piece dresses in floral chiffon which reveal a narrow slice of torso are totally modern and yet they reference the 40s bias cuts Saint Laurent made his own back in the day. There was an unusual delicacy in plunging backs marked with a voluptuous bow, and contrast banding on tailoring, a classic technique which looks very modern here on Pilati’s high slit skirt with angled pocket  It was as though YSL’s classics had become a blank canvas for Pilati to take forward. The waist is a focal point throughout this collection with sleek suede belts edged in gold over dresses, coats and jackets, but also cutouts on the sides and back to underline curves. Even a feather jacket is cut out at the back to draw attention to the waist, a completely modern cut that Yves would never have dreamed of.