September 24, 2010 Milan
Couture gigantism took hold with infantas of flowers and stripes, though Simons was keen to ground any notion of excess. The music veered from Bernard Herrmann's soundtrack for Psycho to Busta Rhymes. The models carried what looked like plastic shopping bags. A navy parka wrapped Freja Beha Erichsen's strapless bubble of Japanese techno taffeta. Such offhand extravagance reminded some onlookers of Yves Saint Laurent's fascination with the English operagoers who'd throw a raincoat over their ball gowns when they went to the cultural institution Glyndebourne in the south of England.
The YSL poke was appropriate for another inescapable reason. Simons has been trying to unravel Saint Laurent's color sense since at least before his men's show at Pitti Uomo in Florence in June. His forensic analysis carried over into this collection. Where do you start giving this palette its due? The green cargo jacket with the pink tank and the yellow palazzo pants? The violet blouson over the gown in fluoro orange? The red coat layered over pink and yellow jackets? Such lightness. Simons said it best: "A mille-feuille of color."
If the show had a hell-bent-for-leather verve about it, Simons really had no choice. There is no way you could make this kind of statement in a half-hearted way. But among the grand gestures, the collection could be broken down into a slew of want-ables: the parkas, for one thing; the stripes; all the tailoring. Still, in an ideal world, it would be those huge, glorious skirts that would be sweeping all before them down your local high street.