Monday, June 15, 2009

The Other End of the Island -- YSL Resort 2010

Not too long ago, a couple of friends of mine went to Honduras for a vacation. They stayed on one of the islands and had a wonderful time snorkeling and swimming and all the things a person does on a tropical vacation. About midway through their stay, they found themselves on a charter boat ride with a bunch of folks who were at a different resort, one on the opposite end of the island from where my friends where staying. Everyone was talking and laughing and having a good old time, but mid-way through the cruise, something started pinging my buddy's hinky meter and he began to get a smidgen uncomfortable. Not much later, after some well-placed and careful questioning, his suspicions were confirmed. His new friends weren't just from
any ol' resort -- they were staying at a nudist resort that's evidently located there.

Happily, the situation didn't go worst-case-scenario on my friends. The naturists were respectful of the fact that this was not a nudist-organized activity and kept their suits on. But it's hilarious to hear my friend tell this story, describing that moment we've all had where it begins to dawn on us that the situation we've just found ourselves in is not... quite... what we expected. Which is kind of the moment I had looking at the YSL Resort 2010 collection. Because about, oh, two looks in I found myself thinking, "What the heck kind of "resort" is this, anyway?"

I don't think we're in Palm Springs anymore, Toto...

While it's obviously not a nudist resort (way too many layers for that!), it certainly doesn't strike one as the sort of lounge-around-the-pool-with- umbrella-drinks vibe that one often associates with the idea of "resort."
Obviously Pilati is not thinking of this collection so much as the clothes you pack for your midwinter getaway as simply clothes for midwinter.

Or not. I don't know. Honestly, I don't know what's going on here. I do know it's awfully directional for a mid-season collection. I thought Fall 09 from YSL was actually more filled with classics and "basics" (as basic as you get from Pilati) than this one, although this is far from bereft of gorgeous, timeless pieces.

All three of these have that classically chic Parisian thing I love so much. I wish I could get a better look at the fabrics (Attention,! Fashionistas everywhere beg you to please put up detail shots from the mid-season collections!!) and the jewelry, which looks fantastic. Also, Style Spy thinks she very much loves those oxblood closed-toe ankle wrap shoes. Mmmmmm, yummy.

I'm nuts for this trench, with its great big shawl collar and the trumpet sleeves. And goodness knows I love a good slouchy trouser. There's not really any woman, no matter what size or shape, who can't look great in something like this.

This pant is a familiar shape from the last few seasons.

They're quite high-waisted and a bit boxy and obviously not for everyone.

He's also still on this zouave thing which I know most people still hate and I still like. I find this terribly chic, with all the flowy layers and the sheer fabrics.

Even if you don't go for that, you couldn't hate this:

Although you might be a little skeptical of those... leggings? Jodphurs? Pants? I don't know what those are, but I don't really think I like them. The fabulous orange trench, on the other hand? Yes, please.

Speaking of orange...

Love the slouch in the jacket. And, huh. Lace leggings. I keep thinking we've reached the apotheosis of leggings whenever I see some new type in things like metallics or leather or sequins or macramĂ©, but the legging tide continues to roll in. I like them in theory -- I like that they're a pretty low-investment item that can be used to radically change up a look. Strangely, though, I haven't bought a single pair for myself, even though I've seen some that made me think, "Ooh, cute! I really could work those!" I think for me it may be more about the weather than the fashion aspect -- it was over 100Âș here today, and we're only midway through June. (I do wear a lot of tights in "winter.")

There was more color in this collection than last (which isn't saying a lot -- if memory serves it was entirely black), and they're quite beautiful.

Amethyst and jade -- lovely, and I so love the brown with them instead of black. I wish more women would think more of brown as their baseline neutral, instead of black. It's warmer, and with a lot of colors so much better.

More green, emerald this time. My one quibble with YSL is that Pilati does work mostly in neutrals, especially black. Of course, this makes sense in investment pieces that you want to last for many years, but Style Spy loves color. Style Spy also loves an Important Shoulder, and this is certainly that. The entire fashion world still seems to be in love with shoulders, which is just fine by me.

More shoulder interest of a different sort. Good googly-moogly, do I adore this dress. This has everything that I love about YSL and love in a dress, especially an evening dress -- it is so sexy without being revealing, or skin-tight, it looks like it would feel dreamy to wear, you don't have to do anything to it to make it look great (no styling or belting or foofing around required, just put it on), and it is, let's face it, just a wee bit weird. I like a wee bit weird. Omigosh, do I want to stand around in that with a glass of wine in my hand and discuss art or politics or the price of apartments on the Left Bank (C'est un scandale!) or something equally grown-up. Augh!! Killing me! Killing!! Me!!!

Here it is in the chiffon print shown earlier:

Seriously -- could you just die? I think this dress is part of YSL's Edition Soir line. This line features 25 or so evening looks that can either be bought off the rack or semi-custom ordered in a range of fabrics and colors. (They're calling this "demi-couture." Which is funny. Because a lot of companies have been doing that for years: "Here's a sweater we make and you can choose what color you want." Sound familiar? Yeah. It's called shopping. Does that mean that Eddie Bauer and the Gap count as demi-couture?) But of course this line can't have a show all to itself because it's not really a season, so I guess some of them crept into the Resort Collection presentation, and...

Oh, I dunno. I give up. I know all these many, many "collections" are making a lot of designers crazy (although they're good news for all those up & comers spilling out of design schools all over the world -- more seasons mean more opportunities for more design assistants). Some of it is due to demand from retailers who apparently don't believe that their customers can be relied upon not to grow so bored in the space of one season that they stop shopping (gasp!) and so must be tempted with more & more new goods all the time. Some of it is pressure from huge multi-headed corporations who own fashion lines and whose bottom lines demand that sales stay up up up and therefore new goods must be churned out incessantly. I don't know how much longer this can be sustained -- pretty soon it seems like the irresistible force of these snowballing fashion shows is going to come up against the immovable object that is a globally depressed economy wherein luxury spending has taken
quite a hit in the last year. (However, there are people who seem to think this is only a temporary dip and that we'll soon be back to our spendthrift ways.) What I know is this: fashion bloggers the world over are probably facing an epidemic of carpal tunnel syndrome as we try to keep our readers abreast of the newest & latest.

But back to the topic at hand, YSL Resort 2010. Overall, I'm going to give this collection a grade of "C." The thing about Pilati is, even when he's not at his best, he's still better than most of what's out there; but I've never agreed with grading on a curve, and this is not his best. There's some really good stuff, but it lacks the greatness I've seen from him at other times.

What do you guys think? Let me hear it!


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Madame Suggia said...

Ha ha, your nudist tale reminds me of a cruise taken a few years ago, when M. Suggia & myself (then 6 months pregnant) were propositioned by a pair of swingers...happy days, LOL!!! But I love love the pale blue trench and slouchy pants but everything else? Not so much. However, have you noticed how many designers are being inspired by thegeniusthatisdriesvannoten for resort? Check out this YSL plus Michael Kors and then compare them to Dries' SS 2009...same headgear, similar silhouettes-the shoulders, the pants-and-jackets combo, and almost every resort collection has a version of the knot/twist front dress from FW 2007. Looking forward to more comments on resort 2010 from you!

Bonjour Madame said...

I'm loving looks 3,4,5 and 6.

Belle de Ville said...

enough more harem pants EVER!!!!!

The Haute-Shopper said...

I completely agree that this isn't exactly channeling your usual resort wear... unless Pilato happens to be spending his next spring holidays in Africa on a safari followed by a quick jaunt to Moscow - because that's the vibe I'm getting from this. There are as you mentioned still some gorgeous pieces there - wow, that trench is quite something! I'm starting to get a little overwhelmed by the abundance of collections anyway. I've hardly had time to digest FW 09 and now resort is already all over the place!

Anonymous said...

Some lovely pieces, but not at all resort to me. And the orange...I love that look, but I don't think I can wear red as I am a redhead. Do you wear it Style Spy?

Really great recap of this collection.


Thumbelina Fashionista said...

I liked some of these items. I think that Resort has become a catch-all word for another collection that happens to come after fall and before spring. It's more about seasonless dressing, I suppose!

Plumcake said...

I think the MOST important thing here is that THE TURBAN IS *BACK*

StyleSpy said...

Madame S -- Wow. Even at 6 months pregnant you inspire the come-ons! Good for you!

Bonjour Madame -- there['s some good stuff in there, definitely.

BdV -- I can't promise anything...

Haute-Shopper -- Amen. I can't take it all in, there just aren't enough hours in the day.

Christine -- Hmmmm. I can't say that I have any orange, but it's not because I don't think redheads should wear it. (It's the whole UT thing more than anything. In Austin if you're wearing orange, everyone assumes you're kitted out for a tailgate party or something.) There are lots of different shades of orange, and I know I rock that peachy-salmon color, so... I say give it a try!

StyleSpy said...

Thumbelina -- Pretty soon there will be no time between runway shows, it'll just be one long Fashion Week 365 days a year.

Plummie -- I dunno. Is that a turban or a do-rag?

WendyB said...

I like a lot of the dresses, but I love the nudist story.

dana said...

Wendy would love the nudist story.

I am too ignorant to grade a collection, but the colors and that Dress alone are enough to give all the other stuff a by.