In this manic world of fashion, it’s important to sidestep the hype every now and then. And no one takes a more ardent anti-frenzy stance than Yves Saint Laurent. Once again, he opened the Paris collections with a quiet little presentation in his couture atelier. And once again, he filled it with clothes that ooze refined chic — just the kind his Ladies live for.
With a single, sharp clap of his hand, Pierre Berge brought the audience to quick attention. Then he proclaimed that soon “the name of Yves Saint Laurent will be on the door of the Grand Gallery.” The house, it seems, has made a hefty donation to the restoration of the French wing of London’s National Gallery, set to open next spring. Asked whether he and Saint Laurent plan to donate clothes to the project, Berge waved his hand and said, “We’ll see about that later.” Never one to leave anything unstated, he then added, “We found it’s easier to work with an English museum than with a French one. I know all about the hidden backstage [intrigue] of the French museums from my days at the Paris Opera.”
Berge also noted that Saint Laurent will show 300 outfits during the opening ceremonies of the World Cup soccer finals in Paris next summer. And to celebrate Saint Laurent’s 40th anniversary as a designer (he started at Dior in 1958), next year the house will launch a one-shot fragrance called “In Love Again.”
Of course, there is something of a misnomer there, because who has ever fallen out of love with Saint Laurent? Certainly not those loyal Ladies who love the chic tailoring, the perfect jackets, the fluid pants, and there were plenty of those. Saint Laurent also gave a nod to the season’s earthy mood with a golden-hued hemp jacket over a black dress. For more fanciful moments, he showed discreetly frilled dresses, and he reaffirmed his love of the halter, gently wrapped and tied, with suits by day and with flowing palazzo pants by night. It’s just one of countless Saint Laurent classics that has been knocked off the world over, and like the others, nobody does it better.

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