"It's something between the fifties and the eightieswhich is my timebut to do it now, with volumes in a different way," said Pilati, the 38-year-old who assisted Ford at YSL for four years and formerly designed at Prada. He managed to combine an imaginative respect for the house's history, while creating something new (for a generation not necessarily interested in labored references) without slavish replication.
The newness showed in the proportions. Those short tulip skirts, gathered into the waist and shown with a rounded shoulder line, moved confidently away from YSL's louche, hip-riding nineties silhouette. For the costume-history spotter, there was a nod to Saint Laurent himself in the broad belts on every daywear lookbut that didn't stop them from looking like a great accessory for right now. Ditto the shoes, especially the high suede loafers with big, chic tassels, doused in pure YSL shades of strong red or vibrant greenand potentially a major hit.
Pilati's emphasis on daywear also changed the collection's priorities. For night, he dipped into ruffles and flounces, in intense fuchsia, purple, and egg-yolk yellow taffeta, or light waterfall frills of black-and-white chiffonall with a flavor of flamenco about them. He finished with a few georgette apron dresses that were just the right side of undone. An intriguing first statement for an experienced talent getting a well-deserved chance to speak for himself.