Yves Saint Laurent has died in Paris. He was 71. We never met him, but god, the shoes...
Before his resort show yesterday (Lauren's review to come), YSL's Stefano Pilati opened up to WWD about the criticism he's faced, particularly from bloggers. “My fashion has never tried to be editorially oriented. My research was more subtle, on the edge to the more boring,” he told WWD. He clarified that his clothes aren’t boring, just that they aren’t flashy and are best understood when worn. He also acknowledged that he wasn’t trying to be better than Yves Saint Laurent himself, and he puts the label before himself, never crediting a collection “Stefano Pilati for Yves Saint Laurent.” He addressed his critics head on: “I’m very surprised when criticism comes from a very shallow approach.” He wants his critics to tell him why they think something looks bad, rather than just saying it looks bad. This then turned into a conversation about bloggers.
Hedi Slimane is as good as confirmed as the new creative director of Yves Saint Laurent. Stefano Pilati, YSL's creative director for the past eight years, showed his final collection for the French fashion house yesterday evening and today, the International Herald Tribune's Suzy Menkes says the company will make an announcement tomorrow declaring that Slimane is next in line. This was expected--when news broke of Pilati's departure from YSL, the company said they would announce a new creative director in coming weeks and industry insiders said that Slimane was a likely, almost definite choice to replace him. And while we've grown more skeptical of the little creative director rumors Menkes likes to slip into her show reviews, we're inclined to believe this one. She dedicates an entire post to the news, writing: Hedi Slimane will be named on Wednesday as the new creative director at Yves Saint Laurent, according to a senior executive at YSL’s parent company, PPR, who has followed Mr. Slimane’s career in the world of artistic photography. The executive would not be named until after the announcement because of the sensitivity of the subject.
Rumors swirl season upon season that Stefano Pilati is done at Yves Saint Laurent. Pilati replaced Tom Ford in the mid-aughts, and while some of his collections have been lauded, others have been slammed. What's more, Pilati is known for being a pain-in-the-rear. He's a party boy, and he doesn't like playing nice. Now the New York Post, via Fashion Wire Daily, reports that Spring 2011 might really, truly, be the end of the road for Pilati. But the collection was undeniably strong. And the shoes will certainly be a best-seller. So we think he still has more time. However, if Pilati is leaving, who will succeed him?
Friday night, the Denver Art Museum held a black tie opening gala for their major fashion exhibition coup, Yves Saint Laurent: The Retrospective. I heard more than one Denverian (?) refer to this as Denver's biggest event since the Democratic National Convention. Indeed, hundreds of Denver’s elite showed up as well as the mayor, a few French ambassadors, and several chic French people and members of the Fondation Pierre Bergé Yves Saint Laurent, including its founder, co-founder of the Yves Saint Laurent house and Saint Laurent's longtime partner, Pierre Bergé. It was clear that all of them were genuinely happy to be there and could not have been more pleased with the exhibit and its surprising new home. Berge, who, from a distance and by some accounts, seems like he could be a difficult man to please, said in a brief speech at the event, “Yves Saint Laurent would be very proud to be here.” Later that evening, we tracked him down inside the exhibit (the museum set aside a private seating area for him which he never used), where he told us he didn’t have a favorite part of the exhibit. “I like everything,” he said. “Of course for me what is important is the tuxedo [wall] because it is the first one and also the Mondrian dress because it is an iconic dress.” He had equally nice and enthusiastic things to say about Yves Saint Laurent’s brand new creative director, Hedi Slimane: