Appeared In
Special Issue
WWD Men's Collections issue 03/16/2009

Yves Saint Laurent designer Stefano Pilati has a marked affection for film. Cinema, after all, is the name of a YSL fragrance. And in recent seasons, his men’s presentations all have involved movies. This outing’s oeuvre offered a new twist: It showed no clothes. Instead, the steamy black-and-white clip by photographers Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin depicted actor Michael Pitt twitching in ecstasy as a sexy, off-camera voice—courtesy of French writer Stephanie Cohen—recited poetry derived from Pilati’s cool collection of tailored jackets and coats. Most in the audience agreed it was a stimulating prelude to the runway presentation that followed. After the show, Pilati explained he wanted to convey his love of clothes.

This story first appeared in the March 16, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

“A lot of men are obsessed by clothes,” he said. “Fashion is fetishistic.” 
Lamsweerde and Matadin said they were inspired by Andy Warhol’s screen tests. “[We wanted] all the emotion to come from Michael’s face and eyes, with very small head movements. The video had to be about the sensuality of the clothes and their materials.”

Cohen’s erotically charged text completed the racy film.

“I tried to re-create the sensuality of Stefano’s clothes with my words, to make pictures,” said Cohen, who recorded her voice-over in New York, where the film was shot. “When we recorded my voice, it wasn’t me who was talking anymore, neither was it Michael Pitt who was acting,” said Cohen. “We were Stefano.”

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