YSL's Pilati plays it safe by sticking to heritage

Tue Oct 5, 2010 10:45am EDT
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By Astrid Wendlandt

PARIS (Reuters Life!) - Yves Saint Laurent took no risks with a collection that looked straight out of a recent exhibition on its founder, but with a 2010 touch, allowing it to ride the current wave of nostalgia for the late designer.

The fashion house's modern day creative director Stefano Pilati played with YSL's classic codes and colors from the safari jacket and tuxedo to African prints and color mixes such as black and deep blue.

"I thought it (the collection) was very appropriate given the influence Yves Saint Laurent has been having on designers," Colleen Sherin, fashion director at U.S. luxury department store Saks Fifth Avenue, told Reuters.

Many fashion critics agree the French designer has had big presence on the runway this autumn, from Marc Jacobs in New York in September with his bright colors and silhouettes to Etro in Milan and Stella McCartney in Paris this week.

Fashion consultants say sales from a well-established fashion brand such as Yves Saint Laurent can benefit from heritage if its traditional style and colors remain identifiable and recognizable among fashionistas.

The company's eponymous founder, who died two years ago, is largely credited with being one of the first French designers to make women look elegant and feminine in pants.

Pilati's summer/spring collection unveiled late Monday comes after a popular exhibition on the designer in Paris and a feature film about his love for business partner Pierre Berge, which was released last week.

The current wave of YSL mania has also been stoked by a controversial biography "Saint Laurent, mauvais garcon" (bad boy), in which author Marie-Dominique Lelievre debunked myths about the designer and shed light on his drug addictions.   Continued...

<p>Models present creations by Italian designer Stefano Pilati for Yves Saint Laurent as part of his Spring/Summer 2011 women's ready-to-wear collection during Paris Fashion Week October 4, 2010. REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol</p>