Ready To Wear: Au revoir, Monsieur Pilati, it's been magnifique

Tonight, in Paris, the designer Stefano Pilati will show his swan-song collection for Yves Saint Laurent.

Pilati has been at the helm of this, one of France's most famous labels, since 2002. While rumours of his departure have been rife for the past two years, emerging unhelpfully, not to mention inevitably, in the run-up to his shows, he should be applauded for the work he has done there.

Critical opinion has often been divided concerning his output. From his very first season – a polka-dotted procession of frilled froth worthy, to my eyes, of any Rive Gauche mademoiselle worth her fashion credentials – Pilati has had his detractors. I am not one of them. I love his aesthetic.

Some of his greatest hits have included: cocktail dresses covered entirely with pretty pink rosebuds; oversized tailored coats and jackets that were as luxe as they were understated, even positively ascetic, by nature; a revival of the YSL high-waisted banana trouser that, for several seasons, was the shape to see and be seen wearing; and costume jewellery, as imaginative and empowering as a modern fashion follower could wish for. Then, of course, we have Pilati to thank for the "muse" and "downtown" bags, the "tribute" sandal... just the type of money-spinning accessories for which the luxury-goods industry strives. Reporting financial results for 2011 this month, Henri-Francois Pinault, chairman of PPR, the parent company of YSL, cited a "giant step" forward in profitability. He later thanked Pilati "for his dedication and contribution to the story of Yves Saint Laurent".

For his part, Pilati told Women's Wear Daily that he was "incredibly proud of what I have accomplished with my teams over the past decade at Saint Laurent. I exit the house with fierce conviction in all that we have achieved and deep gratitude to those who have supported me along the way".

So what next for the designer? Given the pressure that creative directors are under, a break is deserved. Then, who knows where he might emerge? It seems, at this point, nothing short of uncouth to speculate but it would be good to think that a designer of Pilati's stature will be safely installed elsewhere before too long.

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Fashion

    Recruitment Genius: Graphic Designer

    £25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A great opportunity has arisen ...

    Recruitment Genius: Telesales Executive - OTE £38,000

    £16000 - £38000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

    Recruitment Genius: Parts Sales Advisor - OTE 18k-23k

    £18000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of Ford's leading Parts Who...

    SThree: Recruitment Resourcer

    £20000 - £25000 per annum + Uncapped Commission: SThree: Do you want to learn ...

    Day In a Page

    Revealed: Why Mohammed Emwazi chose the 'safe option' of fighting for Isis, rather than following his friends to al-Shabaab in Somalia

    Why Mohammed Emwazi chose Isis

    His friends were betrayed and killed by al-Shabaab
    'The solution can never be to impassively watch on while desperate people drown'
An open letter to David Cameron: Building fortress Europe has had deadly results

    Open letter to David Cameron

    Building the walls of fortress Europe has had deadly results
    Tory candidates' tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they seem - you don't say!

    You don't say!

    Tory candidates' election tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they appear
    Mubi: Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash

    So what is Mubi?

    Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash all the time
    The impossible job: how to follow Kevin Spacey?

    The hardest job in theatre?

    How to follow Kevin Spacey
    Armenian genocide: To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie

    Armenian genocide and the 'good Turks'

    To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie
    Lou Reed: The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths

    'Lou needed care, but what he got was ECT'

    The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond
    Migrant boat disaster: This human tragedy has been brewing for four years and EU states can't say they were not warned

    This human tragedy has been brewing for years

    EU states can't say they were not warned
    Women's sportswear: From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help

    Women's sportswear

    From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help
    Hillary Clinton's outfits will be as important as her policies in her presidential bid

    Clinton's clothes

    Like it or not, her outfits will be as important as her policies
    NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

    Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

    A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
    Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

    Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

    The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
    How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

    How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

    Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
    From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

    The wars that come back to haunt us

    David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
    Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

    Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

    A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders