Pilati has never been a good designer in my eyes. His spring 2011 collection made me want to vomit. And Yves himself didn't like him. But this collection was AMAZING. The first look was like Grace Jones. And the chain mail -oh, the chain mail- was amazing. It was such a sexy collection. The strict tailoring was phenomenal. It's probably the only dark collection filled with leather that I actually loved.
The material and fabric may not be overly innovative and the forms may be seen before. Though this collection is what I can call a perfect collection. Every single thing is done right. From the cut that flatter the silhouette, the accessories, the palette and the chain-mail. It's all about strength, confidence, sexiness and uber uber chic. Pure essence of YSL
He's going out grand. Heidi better brings it (I'm sure he will, at least with menswear.)
Figures that his last collection would resonate with me. I don't know why, but it feels like, for once, all of the facets of YSL have aligned in his work, or at least have aligned quite differently that is usual for him. On top of that, this isn't the kind of stuff he defaults to, so kudos for pushing himself to do something different. It's kind of the same stone cold bitch vibe that his lauded F/W 08 collection channeled, but she's flesh and blood here, much more womanly and -- despite the dominatrix overtones -- approachable.
As for the clothes, I really like most of them. I could live without the calla lily patterns entirely, they're a bit silly looking, but almost everything else is really beautiful, especially those chain mail pieces. Those are incredible. The tailoring looks like the kind of stuff Catherine Deneuve would've worn in The Hunger.
You need to move fashion forward when there's a reason to move fashion forward - Tom Ford
^^^Did someone say Catherine Deneuve in "The Hunger"....? Yes-- definitely like a phalanx of Denueve-clones in lush but killer-cut leathers and that incredible gold chain-mail marching down that runway.
The look and attitude is all classic Yves, Newton and Catherine and just supreme. I can smell the brandy and opium. I feel the image of the timeless YSL gold-dust women is stronger than the designs, but that's all good, because Stefano is not going out with a whimper here. I'm sure his next phase will be bigger and badder-- and doesn't he look fantastically-handsome here?
I don't get it, why would a fashion house need a new designer if the current one can produce such a wonderful collection. I like almost every single look. Not only the clothes are impressive but also the shoes and accessories. I can't say a single bad word about it. And I'm glad Stefano showed what he's capable to do and showed it big way!
His swansong at YSL is a masterpiece, truly. Like Alber did to celebrate his 10 anniversary, Stefano recalls his collections from the very beginning to the end, every look seems to be an awesome reminder to associate most of his designs. Comparing with Ford, he obviously concentrates more on Monsieur YSL's archive and mingles with his own signature marks, I can't figure it out why neither YSL nor Berge was fond of him. He knows women's desire and explore progressively, no matter how his future will turn out be, these unforgetable memeries are gonna be forever, Thanks Pilati!!
__________________ Michael Gandolfi:The f*** sensuous sensualist Et MCB
This is a strange and wonderful industry, ruled at least as much by emotion as pragmatism. Or many of us want to believe so, somehow keeping ourselves under an umbrella of adult romanticism well past its sell-by date. In this most peculiar of seasons, that umbrella sprung a leak, and the truth poured in: Fashion is a business, and like most others, it can be brutal. Not once but twice, a designer was axed within days of presenting his collection, the industry equivalent of handing the family breadwinner a pink slip on December 23rd.
After last week’s announcement of his impending departure, Stefano Pilati showed his sign-off collection for Yves Saint Laurent Monday night. Unlike the season’s first designer casualty, Raf Simons, Pilati had worked under the rumor of possible dismissal almost from the day he assumed the role of creative director seven years ago. It’s not clear when he learned this would be his swan song; he maintained that fact did not determine the design process. “It’s not a collection for celebration [of the YSL tenure],” Pilati said backstage before his show. “It’s just a phase of my creation.”
Perhaps so, but one rooted in a dark sensuality, albeit not unfamiliar to the designer’s oeuvre. His models were done up to glam perfection, their hair pulled into tight chignons, their lips, high-lacquer blood red. Pilati cloaked them in the trappings of aggressive femininity, reed-thin black silhouettes, cinched waists and liberal use of leather feeding their aura of woman-in-control. Jackets were strong-shouldered, often with demonstrative lapels, trousers and skirts, lean and ultrasleek. Pilati had recently used metal accents in his accessories, a concept he incorporated here into his clothes, determined to create “light [effects] beyond the cliché of sequins and embroideries.” The result, dresses in color-tinged mesh, was steamy fare for cool customers. Deepening the show’s deliberate sensuality: a Mapplethorpe-inspired calla lily motif, used for moody prints and sculptural 3-D jewelry.
Though this spoke to Pilati’s stated poetic current, the collection felt less high-drama punctuation mark than logical, if imperfect, progression. Whatever one thought of his work for Yves Saint Laurent, and it sometimes seemed heavy-handed, the brand benefited from Pilati’s tenure. Largely on the strength of his facility with accessories — years later, the Tribute shoe is still going strong — the house returned to profitability after years in the red.
If Pilati feels at all bitter over his treatment, he gave no indication on Monday night. “I accomplished what I’ve been asked to. I accomplished what I wanted,” he said. “I didn’t really see myself in 25 years at Yves Saint Laurent. It was an experiment, but I’m happy either way…
“I’ve been here seven years, and my contract expires, and I’m fine to move on,” he continued. “I had the time to understand that certain things could change. I love fashion, I probably will love it forever, but it is a medium to be maybe somewhere else, or maybe interact with other aspects of our business.”
Pilati stressed that he leaves with his integrity intact, and having left his mark on the studio. “My team responded very well to my influence and my needs, and in a high way. You can really feel it. People keep telling me that they’ve learned a lot, and that makes me really proud,” he said and added with a serious laugh, “I’m proud the house is profitable.”
Accomplishments aside, he acknowledged that fashion, specifically the role of the designer within a major-name brand system, has changed since he took the helm at Saint Laurent.
“I don’t want to be too sentimental or too romantic,” he offered. “For me, I believe the success of the brand comes from the heart — the heart of the designer. Somebody that wants to work with the designer needs to put the same heart into it. It requires a total understanding, not just understanding in terms of liking each other, but really understanding what passion means. There are role models from the past that I admire — Armani, Prada.” (He worked at both houses before Tom Ford hired him at Gucci.) “There [was] the situation where you could believe every single day and every single moment that there was a heart put in there. Now, it’s a bit more — not sterile, but antiseptic. The approach is very objective. It has changed for sure.”
About 30 minutes later, Pilati took his final bow for Yves Saint Laurent to thunderous applause and a standing ovation. François-Henri Pinault and Salma Hayek were first to their feet.
__________________ "he waited for other people to understand what he was doing, instead of doing what they wanted. Balenciaga never compromised."
For me this is probably going to be the best collection of the season and not because I found that a lot of the other brands were a bit of a let down but rather because it balanced sexiness with class really well. The accessories are also really nice.