Saint Laurent offers sorbets and sweeties

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The Independent Online
FOLLOWING a severe bout of pneumonia, it seemed unlikely that Yves Saint Laurent would be on top form, but yesterday in Paris he put on a reassuring show of strength both on and off the catwalk. The collection wasn't going to stop the traffic in the Place de la Concorde, but then not much would have done that this week.

Starting with the signature YSL trouser suit, razor-sharp in salt and pepper tweed, the collection meandered through innocuous daywear and on into sassier dresses, all fronds and beaded fringing - the perfect little mixer for a high society cocktail soiree.

These outfits had a light summery quality with sorbet tones, all highly palatable to his front row groupies, Catherine Deneuve, Nan Kempner and Lynn Wyatt, who tapped their toes in time to 'It Had To Be You'.

Dipping further down into the sweety bag, he produced delicious evening dresses the colour of sugared almonds which will doubtless melt into many wardrobes.

You could tell that YSL has been cooped up in hospital because it appears he hasn't heard that everyone else is showing short, ultra short. His evening gowns were relentlessly long, with only a few short exceptions and then these barely grazed the knee or compromised with short and long in a ruffle curve dipping from the knee to the floor.

But YSL doesn't really bother about what his fellow designers are doing. He designs for his customers; he really cares about what his women want to wear and what will make them look good. And in a confusing season they will be happy with what he has given them - a well balanced, healthy diet which obviously agrees with them just as much as it appears to have revitalised him.

(Photograph omitted)