the tribute

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I spent a fascinating 30 minutes between work reading reviews and forum discussions of the YSL spring collection. All the rumours about Stefano Pilati's days at YSL being limited depresses me, because of all the designers that took over from the late Yves Saint Laurent, I like him best (a close fight with Alber Elbaz). I disliked some of his early stuff but as he found his stride I thought some of his clothes were sublime - impeccable tailoring, with subtle tweaks to classic silhouettes that created interesting shapes that didn't overwhelm the wearer, and there was a always a sexual tension to his collections that I found very appealing. The friendly staff at the YSL boutique here meant that I could actually see some of his creations in person and the clothes always made me wish I earned the sort of money that could afford them.

I found Cathy Horyn's comments especially unfair. I love how he's introduced a looser but still tailored, clean silhouette for women, in a time where designers were pushing all kinds of extravagant nonsense at women. He move clothes alway from the body, clothes women can move in (though he did throw in crippling Tribute sandals to slow us down a bit). I love his boxy tops, jackets and tunics, and slouchy trousers and tulip skirts, and the fabrics he used were always luxurious and heavenly. And his YSL woman didn't lose the ability to wow - I love the extravagantly ruffled dresses in vivid jewel tones in spring 2006. His clothes seem to leave a lot of people cold but I think they enhance the wearer in a sophisticated, sensual way, the way Lanvin by Alber Elbaz does.

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His stuff may not have grabbed headlines lately, but I think he's always pushing forward to offer ideas for dressing the modern woman, and I think a lot of what we see on the runways now have been influenced by him. His spring collection is pretty safe, but when I see all the blah that coming from Chloe, Stella McCartney, Gucci, Balmain etc, give me his vision any day.

I end with this.

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Pictures from

PS: Third post of the day. I'm inspired. And probably too free.


Ammu said…
Horyn's comments are unfair - it's the obsession with celebrity designers I think - wanting them to be larger-than-life and their clothes too. I have always liked Pilati and Elbaz and Dries van Noten for making clothes that are easy to wear, but that make women look like better, more confident versions of themselves, instead of looking like they came off a runway.
lin said…
It's especially galling because she praised the Chloe and McCartney collections!
It looks beautiful. Even though I LOVED the Tom Ford era, especially what he did for YSL, I admit that Pilati is truer to the spirit of YSL. I don't remember Elbar's time. The problem with YSL it has not be profitable for a very long time. Though it seems under Pilati, YSL has come up with very popular "It" bags and shoes.
lin said…
Yes, if he's directly responsible for those...I hope that's a saving grace.

It was actually Chloe Sevigny in that circle print dress at the Golden Globe awards that got my attention to his work - the power of the red carpet in action :)

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