Defining the YSL man: That's the challenge Stefano Pilati said he was meeting with his new collection. This creature is elusive, possibly because Yves Saint Laurent himself gave little direction other than the clothes in his own closet. It's not at all like the prodigious legacy the designer left with his womenswear. But Pilati remains determined to pin down his target. He was feeling a more body-conscious silhouette for Fall. Accordingly, almost everything about the collection, including details like lapels, felt elongated and slenderized. Even a felted blouson was drawn in to the body. The exception was the oversize outerwear, although its volume had the effect of emphasizing the slimness of what lay beneath. So did the very substantial footwear, raised up on ridged, camo-patterned soles.

Pilati also wanted to convey a new sophistication for YSL's menswear. He felt subtlety was key. So shadow plaids barely hinted at pattern in a couple of jackets, and the structured shoulder was achieved without any padding whatsoever. What the lean, boyish silhouette felt like more than anything else was Carnaby Street in the sixties. The high-closing, double-breasted, velvet-collared Edwardian jackets had a strong flavor of the London dandies of the time. But Pilati insisted the influence was closer to home. Rather than anything connected with London, he said he'd been dipping back into Proust, the virtual Bible of all things Saint Laurent.