Everyone remembers the scene in The September Issue where Anna Wintour admonishes Stefano Pilati for the lack of color found in his muted collection for YSL. Looking back on that chilling moment, one has to wonder how everyone’s favorite editrix must feel about the vibrant and elegant show Pilati put forth for spring. For a designer who has been critiqued strongly in the past, this season’s impeccable lineup almost feels like a coy nod to naysayers. Showcasing his skill for precision cutting and a newly optimistic point of view, Pilati turned out one of his best (and brightest) collections for the house.
The classic Yves references were there; crisp white trenches, billowing silk blouses and sleek jumpsuits all called to mind the seventies heyday of Saint Laurent without resorting to mimicry and the fashion savvy will also spot a thoughtful reprise of Le Smoking, done with subtlety and grace. There was also a touch of flamenco flair, via a series of ruffled dresses that are certain to become repeat players in the editorial pages. This variety offered may seem like a retrospective of Saint Laurent signatures, but Pilati adds his adept touch. Finding the balance between respectfully embracing the heritage of the brand and adding your own mark, can be a difficult task for designers, but it is one that Pilati seems to have mastered. His look for spring is classic YSL but Pilati’s unique breed of sexiness is especially evident in those sheer numbers from the streamlined finale.