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Versus Hires Jonathan Anderson November 29th, 2012 @ 11:04 AM


Cacharel Unveils New CEO, in Major Corporate Revamp November 21st, 2012 @ 00:56 AM


Kane Drops Out of Versus in Major Shake-up November 20th, 2012 @ 10:14 AM


Pucci’s Madison Avenue Store Debuts Massive Expansion November 16th, 2012 @ 00:35 AM


Ghesquière Departs Balenciaga in Major Surprise November 05th, 2012 @ 00:43 AM


Sao Paulo Fashion Week: Between Optimism and Fear November 02nd, 2012 @ 00:28 AM


London Unveils Men’s Season Schedule November 01st, 2012 @ 00:36 AM


Azzaro Releases Castello Branco October 25th, 2012 @ 00:18 AM


Revenue Soars 22 Percent at LVMH in First Three Quarters October 16th, 2012 @ 00:18 AM


Rykiel Names Geraldo da Conceicao Artistic Director September 21st, 2012 @ 8:12 PM


Brazil’s New London Pop-Up September 21st, 2012 @ 7:20 PM


McQueen Men Returning Home to London September 12th, 2012 @ 7:19 PM


Roitfeld, Mum and Son, Open in Brazil September 07th, 2012 @ 00:54 AM


Berluti Opens to Big-Time Business in London September 06th, 2012 @ 3:27 PM


Stefano Pilati Back with a Bang at Zegna September 05th, 2012 @ 7:10 PM


Hugo Boss Wows in Berlin, Plans for New York July 06th, 2012 @ 00:17 AM


Salvatore Ferragamo: Crusin’ the Louvre June 13th, 2012 @ 11:04 AM


Michel Klein Gains New Backer; Launches Sunglass Collection June 13th, 2012 @ 00:48 AM


Sykes Jettisoned by Aquascutum; Maurer In at Rabanne June 06th, 2012 @ 00:18 AM


Armani Conquers China, Chastises the Pope June 01st, 2012 @ 11:53 AM



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Yves Saint Laurent’s Modernist Aesthete

Godfrey Deeny
June 24th, 2011 @ 00:11 AM - Paris

Paris on the morning of Friday, June 24, witnessed a tremendous tour de force of modern tailoring. Its location was the runway show of Yves Saint Laurent, where the house’s creative director Stefano Pilati presented the best cut clothes seen so far in the European men’s collections for spring 2012, and a visual declaration of a new modern aesthetic.

This was a collection without any evident theme or particular muse, but it was still an inspired statement about contemporary dressing, a collection where Pilati had clearly worked hard to stretch the codes of men’s tailoring, while also self-editing to present a clear stylistic statement.

From the opening looks the invention was evident – a gentlemanly silhouette with deconstructed shoulders and low waist, where jackets and smart frock coats were consistently cut away. Pilati added flap pockets all over the show, low down on flat Pacific blue coats, or even at the back of some bravura white colonial shorts.

His color palette was somber – anthracite, tobacco and deep blue – but never gloomy; and the addition of plaques and fabric strips at odd angles and as button covers gave each garment a clever twist.

“It’s about new city style, urban sportswear and leisure,” Pilati told FWD after taking a princely bow in Ikat print trousers, khaki double-breasted jacket and bizarre space age print rubber sailing boots.

It has been a given in Europe for at least a decade that the most influential menswear show when it came to footwear wears Prada. Not after seeing YSL today, where the choice of ergonomic perforated boots, beautiful patent leather Sci Fi boots with fabric backs and some stunning hand painted snakeskin moccasins meant this show was the season’s best footwear selection.

Pilati used the same abstract snakeskin print on quilted bomber jackets, before a cool finale of several tuxedo jackets over a new type of garment – a T-shirt meets vest that gave added a smack of innovative class.

This was Pilati’s first show since the departure of experienced CEO Valerie Herman for a new life in Manhattan as president of Reed Krakoff. Yet, there was a distinct air of optimism about the show.

“Sales of our women’s resort collection have risen 50 to 60 percent in some markets. And the response from buyers to the pre-collection sales of this men’s spring collection last week in Milan was excellent,” Herman’s successor as YSL CEO, Paul Deneve, told FWD after Friday’s show, staged in a small, light filled art gallery beside the Palais Royal.

This felt very much like a new chapter for YSL, a storied maison that has been far too much churn and turnover since its sale to the Pinault luxury clan in the late ‘90s. Four major designers – Alber Elbaz, Tom Ford, Hedi Slimane and Pilati - have directed YSL in that period.

Elbaz at Lanvin has gone on to become an unquestionably top 5 designers; Ford, the greatest ever American success story in Europe, has become something of a Napoleon in St Helena designer. A King Canute creator who in the digital age bans all websites and newspaper dailies from his shows. Slimane dedicates himself to photography.

Pilati has been in sole charge now at YSL for a half decade, imposing an arty style and a cool new aesthetic. But today’s show was his best ever men’s collection for Yves Saint Laurent. And although hardly any retailers were seen at the show, we can only hope they have a showroom appointment scheduled as these modern suits should fly off the rack.


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