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PARIS — One can imagine one of Pablo Picasso’s muses wending her stylish way from the French capital down to Antibes in Stefano Pilati’s collection for Yves Saint Laurent, first in the nip-waisted jacket with Fifties airs, next in a peasant blouse with delicate embroideries. Fabrics have strong textures — raw silks, linens and cottons — for a “summery, but tweedy look,” Pilati noted. Silhouettes are slightly more body-conscious and elongated. Still, choices abound as Pilati plots a broader reach for the brand and the season, from casual day clothes through to glamorous evenings. Ditto for accessories, with a broader range of shoes, small leather goods and signature bags, including a new slouchy model, the Muse, that the house is hoping could be its next Mombasa. Meanwhile, although Celine is currently between designers, with a search under way to replace Roberto Menichetti, the French house could hardly sail through the cruise season without a collection. American style icons, from Grace Kelly and Lee Radziwill to Faye Dunaway, were key inspirations this season, with imagined destinations of the California variety. That translates into sun-kissed awning-striped skirts paired with crisp, white jackets or kicky shorts teamed with a safari jacket. Despite the strong sportswear feel, there are touches of French savoir faire in the tucked washed silk blouses and trousers and skirts with cummerbund effects. Still, ease is key for a Hollywood heroine, who spends her glamorous evenings in a simple, but dramatic, column of jersey.

–Photos by Stephane Feugere

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