Wednesday, 28 October 2009

YSL - just one more reason to take the fashion industry more seriously

When people laugh at me for being interested in fashion, I quietly assure myself that an interest in an industry that contributes millions to the British economy each year, and billions globally, is just as valid as an interest in any other art form.
And now Forbes has given me more fuel for my argument with its posthumous rich list. Because while the kings of pop, art and even science and literature, still earn serious money after they've shifted off their mortal coil, they can't even come close to our own late, great Yves Saint Laurent who has earned more than $350 million since his death last year.
That's the kind of figure that would give most bankers wet dreams.
Yes, the power of the YSL brand is not something to be scoffed at but neither is its style. The fashion world, and indeed western women, owe YSL rather a lot. His beautiful and liberating designs have allowed us to feel womanly and sexy in masculine tailoring. Le Smoking, his tuxedo for women, is one of the most iconic designs of the last century and not just in fashion terms.

You might not know it, but it's highly likely that there's an item in your wardrobe directly influenced by a YSL design.
It takes a strong personality to fill those kind of shoes - so you have to hand it to Stefano Pilati for taking it on. And til recently he had been doing rather well. The cage ankle boot wasn't my cup of tea, but it worked and its iconic design helped rejuvenate the label and carry it forward. I completely loved almost everything else in his S/S2009 collection. 
But Pilati really pushed my loyalty with a very odd s/s2010 collection at Paris Fashion week, which I saw stomping down the runway via Fashion TV the other evening.

(pic from

Maybe I just didn't get it, but I really can't imagine Yves having approved of the oversized strawberries or the weird fit of some of the outfits.

(pics from

It wasn't awful, it just wasn't as good as I was hoping for. Sometimes dissappointment is worse than anything else.

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