PARIS--Every fashion season a few things are guaranteed: a model will fall, Anna Dello Russo will change outfits approximately 647,329 times, and a rumor will circulate that Stefano Pilati is out at YSL. This season was no exception. After the IHT's Suzy Menkes implied in an article that Jil Sander designer Raf Simons might someday be headed for YSL, Twitter and then the blogosphere (yep, that's us) buzzed with news that Simons was taking Pilati's place at YSL. YSL subsequently (this is old hat to them now) issued a statement disclaiming the the report.
Last night, Pilati presented his spring 2012 collection for YSL through several ornate salons at the lavish Hôtel Salomon de Rothschild. It was a strong, confident, collection--firmly grounded in YSL's DNA, particularly in the jewel-toned color palette--and one that didn't hint at a designer shaken by rumors, or worse, on his way out. These were clothes for a lady of means, one who is maybe a little bored with her fancy life and who might be nasty to her waiter. She keeps her hair in a tight, low bun, cradled by a gold clip, and never lets her hair down. Her clothes are structured, especially in the shoulders, and voluminous; her pants are unforgivingly straight and skinny; and her skirts are stiff and flared, except, of course, when they're to the floor, paisley printed, and paired with a simple white blouse.
But the thing that everyone was gushing about immediately following the show was the shoes. And with good reason because they were awesome. Especially the courtly heeled loafers with oversized golden buckles and the mint-colored platforms with golden caps on the toes. Expect to see them on every editor, and perhaps attendee Alexa Chung (the loafers for sure), come spring.
**All images: Imaxtree