Stefano Pilati’s New YSL Video: Mysterious Kids’ Line?

Stills courtesy YSL


Tomorrow, Stefano Pilati premieres a new short film in conjunction with his Spring 2010 YSL menswear collection. What we know: It’s called “Melinda,” and shot by Samuel Benchetrit, “Melinda” looks like a moody piece in black and white. We’ve taken a look at the stills and will premiere the video Thursday: the visual theme, thus far, seems to be “boys pretending to be men”—a topic straight from the runway itself, but with biographical and autobiographical overtones as well. The protagonist, we’ve learned, is none other than Benchetrit’s son, Jules, who is 11. In the stills, he seems, ostensibly, on some sort of mission: Is it a date? A criminal plot? An escape route? YSL won’t tell.

A baby indie icon (long locks and all), Jules is adorably overburdened by adult-sized luxurious, silken tees, sports blazers, and tuxedo hats—garments that magically transform from comically oversized to preternaturally fit on the runway, of course. Will this sense of drowning in a uniform set a metaphorical tone for the menswear collection? Jules may turn out to be just a convenient, cute protagonist, but I’d like to believe he serves as a symbol of proverbial Peter Pans—of the immaturity of ne’er-do-well men. One thing is certain: at some point someone named “Melinda” will become central to Jules. Perhaps she’ll come to his (real or imagined) rescue.


Past experiences reveal that when females enter a Pilati plot, males fast become willing captives. To quip: YSL Fall 2009 had its own highly charged short film, remember? Starring Michael Pitt (aptly, of The Dreamers fame) in a single five-minute close-up, the Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin-helmed clip was all about the pleasures of getting undressed—and they aren’t what you’d expect. When garments are the fetish property—and in the case of YSL, they definitely are—the seductress, whispering lasciviously off-camera, is in full control, yet merely a medium to the message. She was besides the point: the pseudo-pornographic things she was saying, about what the clothing was like and what she’d like to do it, was what got us all hot and bothered over metasexual aesthetics.

“Melinda” will premiere tomorrow at YSL’s Spring 2010 menswear presentation. The full film will become available Thursday on this web site.