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Yves Saint Laurent

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IN RETROSPECT

Paris: The massive YSL exhibit that just closed in Paris seemed to have set the mood for the entire S/S 11 season, as a remarkable amount of designers in each city cited the great master’s work as a jumping-off point for their collections. Naturally, the exhibit resonated most heavily with Stefano Pilati, who is currently at the helm of the storied house. Pilati wisely revisited Saint Laurent’s iconic pieces this season, opening the show with an impeccable white trench coat, then moving on to jumpsuits, peasant dresses, ruffles and elements of le smoking. But Pilati’s interpretations of these classics projected intense sophistication as opposed to the playful references that have appeared elsewhere, as if to say to the other designers, “this is how it’s done.” A subtle show of skin – open backs, shoulder cutouts, slivers of midriff, halter tops and keyhole necklines – added a hint of seduction that felt right for today, and luxe feathered pieces had a subdued glamour. Though the designer had an impressive start at the house, his past few collections have been somewhat lackluster, but this season, the garments packed a powerful punch and signaled a return of confidence. In a season so heavily influenced by Saint Laurent, Pilati proved no one does YSL better than he.

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