05 October 2010

PFW S/S '11 Report: Yves Saint Laurent

We’ve been waiting for a boost like this. The Paris shows have been a little slow to define the new mood that the audiences are buzzing about. Where is the collection that gets the sense of luxury we are looking for, but still fits in with the modern lives we lead and delivers it with the seductive touch we all crave? Everyone is moaning that we haven’t had a proper heart stopping moment since Raf Simmons at Jil Sander in Milan.

Our stressed, technology driven schedules could really do with the consolation of some beautiful clothes that are practical enough to pack into a suitcase but have that luxury element, a hint of fantasy, that can pitch us right out of the of the daily grind. Surely Paris could give us that?

But so far there has been a lot of what borders on costume and that just feels too much like hard work. Then along came Stefano Pilati for Yves Saint Laurent and I think he may just have nailed it.   

Of all the great Paris fashion houses, YSL is having a moment. Designers, the world over, have clearly had tickets to the fantastic retrospective exhibition of Saint Laurent work in Paris that closed this summer, for the inspiration is evident all over the NY, Milan and London catwalks. No matter where you are, Summer 2011 is bound to look very YSL. With all of that history behind him, it was always going to be intriguing how Pilati handled it.

What we got were neat A line skirts and super feminine blouses, leggy pants and belted jackets, breezey silk dresses and flamenco frilled cottons. It was perfectly 21st Century YSL. My favourites included a little tailleur (skirt suit) in light silk cloque with gently flared jacket that was very ‘jolie madame’ but at the same time hot enough to toast. There was a dreamy burnt orange slim silk dress with frilled hem; a navy cotton skirt with its frilled flamenco hem hitched to the waist to make a flourish of orange and tan. And the ostrich feathered jacket over perfect navy pants was just to die for.

Sure, there will be a lot of old YSL around next summer. But my bet is you’ll be loving the new one.

- Paula Reed in Paris


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