08 March 2011

PFW A/W '11 Report: Yves Saint Laurent


The big message of the week is one of ladylike chic. With budgets still tight, there is a commercial haven in the conservative chic that has been the universal language of generations of Parisiennes. For the rest of the world, it’s what typifies the city as much as the Eiffel Tower and the croissant and it’s what many of the designers are banking on for strong winter sales.

Last night, YSL did it better than anyone else so far. The show majored in classic YSL signatures: the smoking suit, the natty tailleur (skirt suit) and goddess gowns for evening. But it was stripped back to the elegant essentials: a cashmere plaid for the jackets with their slightly rounded silhouette over polite box pleat skirts; a classic tweed for the chic A Line swing coats; an inky wool for the tunic shift. The after 6pm section was breathtaking in white with a hip length slim smoking jacket over ankle cropped slim trousers, a billowy chiffon shirt dress with balloon sleeves and floor length wide legged culottes with gold chain details at neck or waist.

Rumours that this might be Stefano Pilati’s last collection for YSL have plagued the designer all week. This beautiful collection shows that when he is on form, he is the perfect person for the job.

- Paula Reed in Paris


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