Wednesday, March 5, 2008

In The Cut

Ya know what job I wouldn't like to have? Designing clothes for YSL Rive Gauche. Not that I have bad feelings about the house -- quite the contrary, my love for YSL is a warm and steady one, built upon decades of Yves Saint Laurent's brilliance. But that's just it -- how does a person ever dare to step into the shoes of a master like that? (Of course, Saint Laurent himself had done it, taking over Christian Dior at the very tender age of 21.) After Saint Laurent retired in 2002, my own dear fashion teddy bear Alber Elbaz took the reins. I do love Alber, but I feel he truly belongs at Lanvin, where he is now designing season after season of gorgeous yet slightly off-kilter clothing I adore. After Alber came Tom Ford. Oh, the whole world loved Tom Ford -- the whole world but me. I found Tom Ford's work to be vulgar with alarming frequency, and YSL, the epitome of sexy French chic, should never, ever be vulgar.

And now, since 2004, I've been admiring the work of Stefano Pilati. I think he gets it right, and I love almost everything he does. I even adored the "purple flower" collection from Spring 2007 that so many people groused about -- I thought it was gorgeous. But I really think the collection he showed last week in Paris was my favorite one yet.

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I love this silhouette. Look how it's cut so close to the body and yet he manages to infuse volume into it by putting the weight of the coat in the back. Stop looking at the goofy bowl cuts and the sunglasses and just look at the shape of the clothes.

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I predict that these boots are going to be HUGE. This may be the apotheosis of the shoe bootie thing that's been going on for a few seasons now. I'm not sure I love them, but I have a feeling a lot of fashion editors are going to.

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I adore this. I want to wear it right now.

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I know a lot of people are going to scream bloody murder about the volume in these pants, but I love it. I also love the re-working of the classic leather Perfecto jacket into something much more mysterious and chic.

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I find the contrast of these great big sleeves with that nipped-in waist so interesting. I love that the skirt is narrow enough to suggest the body without revealing it.

I'm also crazy about the sort of gold bicycle-chain-on-steroids accessories he's working here:

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That is just wicked-looking. It looks a little like it hurts, doesn't it? I'm not usually one for fetish wear, but there's something about that necklace that is kind of deliciously taunting to me. Wearing that necklace advertises a person as... well, quite a handful. Not to be trifled with. Ferocious. I like that in an accessory.

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This is just beautiful. I think we all know what a sucker I am for this kind of clean, precise geometric seaming. I would wear this to death, even though it is gray.


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More killer tailoring, this time devolving into a sexy looseness at the bottom. Still with that neat shoulder and waist, though -- again, the body is present but not emphasized.

And let's do get a close-up of this necklace, which brings tears to my eyes:

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I want it I want it I want it I want it I want it. And that's all I have to say about that.

I want this, too:

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For its beautiful shape at the waist, for the way the slight fullness through the middle of the sleeve creates a little romance, for the swing of the skirt and the pop of the blue contrasting with that smooth, fine wool suiting.

Here's what the Tribute shoe of the last few seasons seems to have morphed into:

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That shoe has far too much of a platform for me to walk in it safely, but I must say I kind of like the way it looks. (I liked the Tribute, too, but never seriously considered it for the same reason. That shoe is a sprained ankle waiting to happen for me.) I especially like the little tuck on the toe of the shoe -- it gives it that snubby effect I like so much.


YSL

Again, I love this volume. Look how tiny her waist looks in comparison. I can hear everyone now, saying, "The last thing I need is more volume around the places where I already have too much volume!" and I will grant you that not everyone is going to be able to pull this off. You're going to have to have some height for a pant this shape or it will be very unkind to you, and while a pear-shaped person could work them, an apple-shaped one could not. But not every thing is for every body -- and we're okay with that.


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No, I'm not advocating that you run around with the girls quite this exposed. But admit it -- you kinda wish you could, doncha? This blouse would be just as sexy -- maybe more -- with a good cami underneath it, and that is the King Hell Pencil Skirt of Death.

Quintessential YSL:

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The fierce jacket with the strong shoulder, the nipped waist, the curvy skirt. This just shrieks "Rive Gauche" to me: take-no-prisoners feminine but not in the least girly, despite the delicious foofy feathered bits all over the skirt.

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I do love me some foofy feathered bits...


Here he is, Mr. Smoothie himself.

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I don't know which side of the line Mr. Pilati hangs his laundry on, if ya know what I mean, but that is one sexy guy. He's cute, he's Italian, and he designs beautiful clothes. Yep. Pretty much the Style Spy's dream guy.

The shows in New York and London this year didn't do a lot for me, but there was a lot of great stuff in Paris, things I hope to show you in the next couple of weeks. The trend toward structured clothes seems to be continuing, separates appear to be having a comeback, and things seem to either be all black or drowning in bright colors. Kind of a hopeful austerity, if you will. Which seems about right for now.

So whaddya think? Given that the Prince Valiant goth cuts and Matrix specs are optional, would you wear these clothes?

Photos: Style.com

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7 comments:

Anonymous said...

PERFECT I LOVE his designs i want every piece and the hair cut! this is how i like to dress and if i was rich HE would be my designer .
so sorry my caps are not working. Thanks for showing his clothes, now how do i print them. Or could you send me a copy of his clothes. If I use my printer i print your whole blog lol,,,i want to hang it up on my 'want and lusting for board' thanks for the post k

Deja Pseu said...

Would I wear those clothes? In a heartbeat. (Except for the shoes. Interesting stylistically, but an accident waiting to happen.)

In a post I did a few days ago, I linked to an interview with Carine Roitfeld, who although at times comes across as an appalling, shallow, drug-addled twit, made one very insightful comment about quintessential French style being a mix of feminine and masculine elements, and I think this collection really epitomizes that. And can I say Hallelujah about the return of more tailored, structured styles? Clothing for grownups, Yay!

Anonymous said...

Ngg, yes, I would wear those! Especially that coat with the blue lining/flashing. I also loved the sheer ivory blouse and the high-waisted black sparkly pant and the structured, big-shouldered jacket at the end. I cannot tell you how relieved I am to see clothing with the waist at the waist, which for me is by far the narrowest part of my body. It makes me want to buy every single thing I see, just to hoard against the next time they move the waist elsewhere. Oh, would that I could . . .

Anonymous said...

Would I wear these clothes? Most of the jackets, skirts and dresses, I would love to wear. But the pants...well, MC Hammer might be able to pull it off.LOL!

Karen said...

Dear lord but these are beautiful clothes. Heart-stoppingly beautiful. That tweed with the reverse blue peeking out? Unbe-frickin'-lievable. The narrow torso with the full layered skirts? Oh my dear lord in heaven. These are the sort of clothes that work both on the runway and in your closet, which is my preference in a runway show, I confess.

I have to wonder how those poor models made it up and down the runway, though, with all that hair in their eyes....

Anonymous said...

Help! I have never been so in love with an item of clothing. It's the wool-with-retina-blazing-blue highlight one. Alas, I am a common person who has admired pretty clothes from your blog with never a thought of actually purchasing. Until now. Where can (normal) people find such clothes or similar clothes? Help me find my dream outfit. I live in Austin and am size 10ish.

Yours,
Grasshopper
P.S. Where on line can I look at the entire line? I have looked and looked and can only find a sampling of it.

Anonymous said...

lllllove pilati for ysl too. have from the beginning too. tho i did hear (from cathy horyn's blog at the nyt) that ysl hired the chief pattern cutter away from jil sander. so that goes along way in explaining the new sharpness to the clothes in this collection. still, i think pilati has done a number of brilliant collections since starting at YSL, that have gone un- or under-recognized.

oh and as far as the laundry line... pilati is gay. of course. :-(