Yves Saint Laurent

Paris: Stefano Pilati showed a romantic, militaristic collection, charged with hints of defiant wit, informed perhaps by conflicts between the colonial and rebel armies of North Africa, like those that fought for brand founder Yves Saint Laurent’s French Algeria or the ones currently battling in Khadafi’s Libya. Tribal-inspired, slate blue python camp shorts or sandy lace-neck drill shirts spoke to ramshackle freedom fighters, while tactical khaki trench coats, white cotton blousons, or pleated buck shorts spoke to iconoclast colonialists like Laurence of Arabia or Jock Campbell’s fascist-crushing Desert Rats. Vaguely menacing double-breasted, slate blue field jackets sporting Nehru collars hinted at the temptations of iron-fisted, fascist power consolidation. The shoe of the show was a robust loafer that Pilati showed in copper or slate blue python, as well as in black patent leather—each material dandyish in its own way, but with the snakeskin model speaking for rakish freedom, while its shiny cousin evoked the allure of Mussolini’s vanity. Ultimately, the designer seemed to be searching for a mythical truth and freedom exempt from the albatross of political minutia, creating twenty-five heroic looks that that celebrated men of action while exploring the tensions and enticements inherent in the timeless human quests for freedom or power. —Andrew Luecke

Color: Tactical khaki / Slate / White / Black

Key Items: Khaki trenches / Python camp shorts / White blousons / Cargo shorts / Double-breasted jackets / Pleated buck shorts

Materials: Khaki / Mesh / Egyptian cotton / Tropical wool

Print + Pattern: Slate or copper python

Details + Trim: Pleats / Cargo pockets / Drawstrings and lacing

Accessories + Footwear: Robust python or patent leather loafers / Chelsea boots / Patent sky tops

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