Stefano Pilati has clearly been thinking about the positive response he gets from people in the art world, because he decided to dispense with orthodoxy this season and create an artifact a little more enduring than a 15-minute fashion show. Working with filmmakers from a London company called Colonel Blimp (who've made videos for Massive Attack, among others), he produced a seven-minute film featuring British actor Simon Woods running, jumping, and standing still across three screens. Michel Gaubert provided a soundtrack that swirled Lou Reed and Portishead into an intense stew. Add Saint Laurent's own friendship with Andy to the mix, and there was a Warholian undercurrent to the whole enterprise.
It was an impression that was compounded by the clothes, the most spectacular of which wouldn't have been out of place on the denizens of the transcontinental scene that swarmed around the nightspots of New York and Paris in the late sixties and early seventies (and there was no spot more night than Warhol's Factory). The black lacquered leather jacket lined in sheepskin, the Mongolian lamb coat, and the crushed velvet blazers had a casual extravagance that would be a siren call for wannabe superstars in any era. But that's Pilati's spirit. He's been pushing proportions to move menswear away from the cheese-straw silhouette of the early Noughties. Here, he added heady color to amplify his effort. So an unstructured felt coat was writ large in a sunshine yellow, and a biker jacket was generously recut in green wool. A wide-collared blanket-striped coat was piped in red, and softer, heathery shades colored immaculately tailored blazers.
By now, it's clear that Pilati's collections thrive on a split personality that reflects the designer's own idiosyncrasies. So a plaid cashmere blazer and a huge knit duffel coat comfortably coexisted in the same collection, as did the blue suede brothel creepers and the black leather oxfords. A collarless shirt with a felt appliqué of a thunderstorm had an almost childish charm, but Pilati's shawl-collared jackets in ice-cream tones were the height of sophistication. Both of them were equally desirable. There's an essential Warholian duality for you.