Ready To Wear: The fashion merry-go-round takes yet another turn

 

The rumours surrounding Paris's major brands may do big business no harm, but one can only feel for the designers who are forced to complete collections while the rest of the world wonders who may – or may not – step into their shoes. This applies more than most to Stefano Pilati, who will stage his show for Yves Saint Laurent in Paris this evening.

Six months ago speculation concerning Hedi Slimane's imminent arrival as his successor filled the news pages. That never happened, clearly. Now, and at the time of writing, it is the turn of Raf Simons to take over, according to insider gossip at least. The motives behind all of this are unclear and, given the cloak-and-dagger, behind-the-scenes politics of the fashion industry, chances are that they will remain that way. But should Pilati move on – whether it be by choice or at the behest of his management – it would be a great loss to the label.

The designer has been at Yves Saint Laurent since 2002 and has single-handedly given it a new lease of life. Given the reputation that surrounds the name, it's all too easy to forget that when he took the helm it was floundering. After Saint Laurent's retirement from the ready-to-wear arm in the late 1990s, Alber Elbaz was initially employed but lasted only two seasons before being unceremoniously ousted. Later, and having found considerable success at Lanvin, the designer made no secret of the crisis of confidence he had suffered while there.

Elbaz was cast aside by none other than Tom Ford, of course, then creative director of the Gucci Group, which acquired Yves Saint Laurent in 1999. Ford wanted Yves Saint Laurent for himself, the story went, but the world watched on as he failed to revitalise it in the way he had done at Gucci.

And then came Pilati, who from day one demonstrated an understanding of the Yves Saint Laurent heritage on so many levels and duly re-invented it for a modern audience to great – and entirely deserved – critical acclaim. And he has continued to do so.

From Rive Gauche polka-dot frills to grande bourgeoise elegance, and from the almost ascetic purity of oversized tailoring to the grace of this autumn's languid Le Smoking Pilati, he has more than delivered season after season, and for that alone he should be applauded.

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
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: Partner Manager - EMEA

    £50000 - £100000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Partner Manager is required ...

    Recruitment Genius: Regional Sales Manager - OTE £100,000

    £45000 - £100000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Regional Sales Manager is re...

    Recruitment Genius: IT Support Engineer

    £18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The company provides IT support...

    Recruitment Genius: IT Manager

    £45000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This manager is for a successfu...

    Day In a Page

    Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

    Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

    Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
    Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

    The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

    Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
    Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

    The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

    Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
    The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

    The future of songwriting

    How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
    William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

    Recognition at long last

    Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
    Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

    Beating obesity

    The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
    9 best women's festival waterproofs

    Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

    These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
    Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

    Wiggins worried

    Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
    Liverpool close in on Milner signing

    Liverpool close in on Milner signing

    Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
    On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

    On your feet!

    Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
    With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

    The big NHS question

    Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
    Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

    Thongs ain't what they used to be

    Big knickers are back
    Thurston Moore interview

    Thurston Moore interview

    On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
    In full bloom

    In full bloom

    Floral print womenswear
    From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

    From leading man to Elephant Man

    Bradley Cooper is terrific