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Sao Paulo Fashion Week: Between Optimism and Fear November 02nd, 2012 @ 00:28 AM


London Unveils Men’s Season Schedule November 01st, 2012 @ 00:36 AM


Azzaro Releases Castello Branco October 25th, 2012 @ 00:18 AM


Revenue Soars 22 Percent at LVMH in First Three Quarters October 16th, 2012 @ 00:18 AM


Rykiel Names Geraldo da Conceicao Artistic Director September 21st, 2012 @ 8:12 PM


Brazil’s New London Pop-Up September 21st, 2012 @ 7:20 PM


McQueen Men Returning Home to London September 12th, 2012 @ 7:19 PM


Roitfeld, Mum and Son, Open in Brazil September 07th, 2012 @ 00:54 AM


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Stefano Pilati Back with a Bang at Zegna September 05th, 2012 @ 7:10 PM


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Salvatore Ferragamo: Crusin’ the Louvre June 13th, 2012 @ 11:04 AM


Michel Klein Gains New Backer; Launches Sunglass Collection June 13th, 2012 @ 00:48 AM


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Armani Conquers China, Chastises the Pope June 01st, 2012 @ 11:53 AM



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Yves Saint Laurent's Superlatively Tailored Underground

Godfrey Deeny
January 20th, 2012 @ 00:36 AM - Paris

The theatrical decadence of the Seventies might have been the well-spring of the latest Yves Saint Laurent menswear collection, but the result was the most modern fashion statement seen on the Continent this season.

Made virtually entirely in black – with just dashes of gray, tiny touches of metallic silver and cut with a surgeon's precision - the show was also a striking point of view on how men should dress in the 21st century, made all the better for its inversion of tradition.

Fashion shows typically begin with day wear and culminate with evening looks for women, tuxedos for men. This fall 2012 collection, presented Friday, Jan. 20, in the hallowed halls of the Sorbonne university, kicked off with tuxedos, a classic element in the Yves Saint Laurent visual canon but one brilliantly reinvented by the house's current creative director, Stefano Pilati.

Cut with austere precision, finished with leather lapels and collar trim, boasting zips placed diagonally on cuffs like military decoration, these clothes were both thoroughly chic yet slickly toughened with a whiff of perversity. Which made sense, seeing as the show's inspiration was a YSL biker jacket from the Seventies.

“It was actually made in violet with purple lining, which was not ideal for today. But the cut, its sense of an alternative culture, where decadence and transgression was real, and not something in your face like today, was what I loved. There is no underground anymore, there was then,” explained Pilati, dressed in a striking, and faintly perverse, lambskin top – part operating room tunic, part biker jacket - elegantly worn under a suit.

It was also the era when the late Saint Laurent was painted by Andy Warhol. And an interview with Warhol was mixed into a brilliantly pulsating soundtrack, while the backdrop was a fantastically massive blackboard covered with that artist's scribbled words.

That biker chic influence rifled through edgy mess jackets, dandy boleros or rocker top coats - leather on and felt wool below. All of them looked great, and their ensemble was the most telling vision of elegance.

Call it the power of creative destruction, where a particularly talented designer can break into radical new ground by turning the past upside down.

Six months ago there was a lot of chatter and rumor about Pilati being replaced by Belgium designer Raf Simons, who last week also staged a black leather based collection for Jil Sander, though one which many critics regarded as too disturbingly similar to SS officer uniforms. Several French fashion editors openly labeled it “Facho a mort,” or extremely fascist.

So it would seem risible today to imagine Simons ever succeeding Pilati. Quite probably the best dressed man in today's fashion, Pilati is quite simply a great conceptual designer who makes the coolest of clothes.

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