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.

Yves Saint Laurent Deflowers Virgins

Godfrey Deeny
October 06th, 2006 @ 1:23 PM

Always thought we would see the Prince of fashion, Stefano Pilati, standing on a purple runway. Purple rain - no make that purple spring - the leitmotiv of the Spring/Summer 2007 Yves Saint Laurent collection presented Thursday, October 5th, in Paris on a 100-meter long runway of lilacs.

A casting of the world’s best catwalkers trod, trudged and bogged down in the field of lilacs runway in the Grand Palais. A tad eccentric but certainly an eye-catching way to present a slightly over the top - yet very chic - Saint Laurent collection that one senses retailers will adore.

“I wanted to evoke the transition to spring, and violet, which represented modesty, captured that. Plus the flowers also stood for deflowering, in this case virgins,” said YSL’s creative director Stefano Pilati to FWD after the show, embracing a throng of pretty actresses as the bubbly flowed.

Spring had barely broken through in the opening looks, which featured smart gingham coats and skirts, swinging big-sleeved jackets, and some splendidly cut lunch jackets in imperial purple, a Saint Laurent color par excellence.

Pilati also tapped into the house’s Parisian chic with great khaki coat-dresses and intricately made violet lace dresses with beautiful floral embroidery.

For evening, however, there was a tad too many big tasks. Peasants’ dresses for balmy picnics were craftily constructed with lovely slashes of color, but not the easiest of wear, as were the cool, yet rather impractical, white dhoti pants.

The setting was truly impressive. Pilati, appearing from what seemed the Seine river bank to take a long bow, nonchalantly picked up a pair of high heels that got stuck on his catwalk; and the soundtrack, mostly a glorious rambling “Sweet Surrender,” was just right.

However, the lighting was far too dark, rendering the final passages gloomy, and in a baffling moment, the show had actually begun when Janet Jackson and her entourage in a scuffle and shuffle and new best friends, Posh Spice Beckham and Katie Holmes, were arriving. Jackson ended up evicting one critic from the front row, and Holmes and Beckham both were left standing, an awkward coda to a clever and intriguing runway show.

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