For a few seasons now, Yves Saint Laurent has shown menswear at its headquarters in Paris. The perennially packed show, held in a small salon, causes high-profile fashion players to get their sweat on. With a limited guest list, exclusivity is the appropriate mantra for YSL.
For the latest collection, spring 2011, Yves Saint Laurent presented a short film by cult photographer and filmmaker Ari Marcopoulos. The subject, tattoo artist Mark Mahoney, was a marked departure from last season’s Bruce Weber-directed homo romp.
Stefano Pilati’s collection, however, had little to do with the film. The clothes were as carefully crafted as Pilati’s best. A somber palette of grays, smudged greens and brown made for refined, slim-belted jackets and narrow pants.
Blouson jackets and crisp shirting were beautifully proportioned—classic Pilati. Playing with feminine shapes is also a signature of the designer and, here too, high-waisted shorts were a serious proposal, yet only relevant to YSL’s younger, more directional customer.
Slick and modern, YSL has all the hallmarks of a luxury brand, and Pilati has the ability to extend its appeal to a more commercial level—though perhaps without high-waited shorts.