Monday, October 5, 2009
Yves Saint Laurent 2010 Spring/Summer Collection
Rather than succumb to frivolity, in true Pilati-style, the designer chose to control it, creating a tension both compelling and odd. A floor-length wrap dress with tailored notched lapels had a big, counter-intuitive hem flounce; vests got precision-pleated pinwheel borders. Only rarely did Pilati embellish with color, choosing a perky strawberry motif. Here, a tiny print dress looked young and feisty, while giant appliqués did nothing to de-frump a long, clunky skirt.
His dresses were as varied as an aggressive leather halter and a conservative chic blue periwinkle number with a whiff of the Eighties; sportswear ranged from decorative collared riffs on Flemish portraiture to a jaunty double-faced shorts suit with a sleeveless jacket and a gray cutaway vest over matching trousers.
It’s rare to find a collection with so much clothing devoted to women seeking professional respect. Then again, we are talking about YSL. Memorable were a dove-gray pantsuit, a devilishly simple white cotton blouse with a slight cowl neck and a series of minimal dresses.
Working women struggle with perceptions of power and femininity. Many designers fail to find an easy balance between the two, leaving us to choose between frills and severity. Designer Stefano Pilati, with his collections for Yves Saint Laurent, seeks that balance, via minimalism and architecture, and once again, he succeeded beautifully.