Back in the day, Yves Saint Laurent sent a Valentine's Day postcard to his nearest and dearest. Those postcards, as well as the visual trickery of trompe l'oeil, were playing in Osman Yousefzada's mind for his first-ever pre-fall collection. His now-signature ottoman "chapan" coat had "Love" emblazoned in gold brocade jacquard on the back, as did a restrained white shift dress and fluted black skirt in silk cady. Trompe l'oeil details were everywhere: The lapel of Le Smoking tuxedo jacket was woven into a one-shouldered dress, a sash belt tied in the back was crafted to look like shirtsleeves, and a bow-tie belt was woven into a waist of a skirt. Then there was the elaborate dripping necklace that looked as if it were raided from a maharani's coffers, but woven onto the neckline of a dress and shirt. Yousefzada also stayed true to his arty ways. Many pieces were hand-painted first before being transferred to the fabric—no digital printing here.
So, yes, the fun details were there, but that doesn't take away from the precise elegance of an Osman
collection that had solid, wearable separates as its underpinnings. A boiled wool black jumper teamed with a fluted skirt in black and white said boardroom; add the capelet and it's post-work drinks. More ornate were a dress with wide split sleeves, and fringed scarves draped over all and sundry. Yousefzada has taken some flak in his career over who he is: the austere designer of strict architectural shapes, or the champion of over-the-top embellishment. His answer to that seems to be, why choose sides when the base of it—his exacting cuts—is always consistent? With its fine shape, his floral chapan coat did not seem out of place next to the tailored black funnel-neck coat. The philosophy behind it seems, what the heck—every girl needs to switch things up.