PPR brass has long held that Stefano Pilati has no reason to feel like he has something to prove, and François-Henri Pinault officially set the record straight a few weeks ago. Regardless, Pilati’s fall collection for Yves Saint Laurent should shut the fashion gadflies up, at least for a little while. It hit the big house/global brand trifecta of today’s world — salability for the numbers people, statement for the editorial people and accessories for both. Don’t forget the heritage.
Most importantly, the collection was presented with clarity of vision, opening strong with double-face Prince of Wales neatly tailored into coats, capes and suits with reverse trims on pockets and collars. In a nod toward Mary Quant, jackets were paired with pleated minis, cut spare and slim, and drop-waist shifts. One was done in slick patent leather with a cocoon back and a checked skirt with a blue hem. But Mod was not the point. Nor were cute schoolgirls, which is a direction that look can quickly go. It was purely adult, particularly when accessorized with thick, chain-link chokers and suede boots with a sculpted wedge that laced pertly up to the knee — both heavyweight chic.
The checks played throughout, blown up big on a boyish blouson jacket and alluded to on a chunky sweater and dégradé furs. Pilati got into and out of graphic daywear — black, white and gray with spare pops of color — quickly before his all-sportif, all-white evening parade. He made his point, perhaps a little too earnestly, with jumpsuits, whether slim and trim with a sheer ruffled neck or wide-legged and filmy. There were A-line skirts and tie-neck blouses, mannish pants and a silk gown, all accented with gold chains. One note, but very YSL.