Dear Yves Saint Laurent: A few words from the Independent's fashion editor to the maestro on the morning of his show, more in sorrow than in anger

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Indy Lifestyle Online
How are you? Have you got the nervous exhaustion in check? It must be so tedious to see the sort of people who once hailed you a genius behaving like vultures, full of morbid tittle-tattle. One fashion editor doesn't leave home without your obit in her bag. Imagine]

They'll be perched there again this morning, the vultures. Yes, it's Wednesday. So it's your show. And the chauffeur will be there half an hour earlier than ever before because you're at 10.30am - not 11am as it always has been. Why? So that Valentino and Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel can show after you. Here] In Paris] Even though Val is an Italian and Karl is a German]

Val even has Sharon Stone as a model. That's sure to steal the column inches will she have her knickers on, and all that? Perhaps you could do a Naomi Campbell-style catwalk tumble, a Proustian faint or something?

On the other hand there are still a few hours to stake your claim to hang on to your crown and your coverage. Think fast, Yves. What is going on in fashion now? What on earth do you make of it, living in your Matisse-filled apartment with your silent butler and the third bulldog you've had called Muijik (maybe you think it's the same dog)? So here's a plan.

When people arrive at the grand show tent, redirect them to somewhere they've never been, say the 19th arrondissement. Make them stumble over rubble into a building site to squat on their haunches. Bombard them with white noise; get unkempt models; rip the sleeves off those perfect YSL blazers. Then you'll have what they call 'Deconstruction Recoup'. Vogues worldwide will love it. What, you don't like the idea of those priceless fashion editors climbing through rubble? Don't give it a thought. These days, they'd feel cheated if they didn't. Suzy Menkes of the Herald Trib, doyenne of doyennes, has been skipping over fallen masonry in her high heels like a mountain goat.

Yves, you're no stranger to the cutting edge. Remember 1959] No you probably don't. You did mink and 'mock croc' bomber jackets, you did thigh-high boots. Paris was shocked. Remember the Sixties] Your Mondrian minis, your naked lady Pop Art midis. Wow] You were so groovy, you were Rive Gauche. Remember?

You've done it all, Yves, and you've had the retrospective at the Manhattan Met and the birthday party for 2,000 close friends at the Paris Opera Bastille. Some people write you off as dead. Not me, actually. I think you have a few fine frocks left in you, but take the money and the Matisses to Marrakesh and say 'assez'.

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