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· Fashion Notes: Best in Show, S/S 09 (Part I)

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Fashion Notes: Best in Show, S/S 09 (Part I)
by The Kindly One

Now that spring is officially here, I wanted to share what stood out to me during the spring collections. I liked quite a lot of the shows for the season, but the Yves Saint Laurent show stood out for having exceptional design. These are clothes that women routinely wear - shifts, sundresses, suits, spring coats - in shapes that flatter a variety of figures without compromising a specific point-of-view. One could say yes, that's what fashion design should be, but in reality it very rarely is. That fact is what makes designers such as YSL's Stefano Pilati stand out from the crowd: it's the elevation of standard, workhorse clothing into more remarkable pieces that separates this collection from all the rest. The way he incorporated sumptuous textures, colors, and fluidity into the clothes elevated the clothes into much more elegant versions of themselves. It's almost trickery of the eye - the quality of design and fabric is so high that it requires taking a step back to realize that's not just a great dress, it's really just a shift dress that's been taken to the next level. All that, and the clothes never overpower their wearers, either. All things considered, these women look elegantly dressed, not "outfitted," styled, or like they're dressing to impress. In fact, the design details fade into the background until all the viewer is left with is the impression of a great dress, a great suit, and an elegant woman. This is the mark of great design - it must never overshadow its subject. That said, here are my favorite looks from this show.

This was my single favorite look from the spring collections. It's such a classic look: very rarely will nice tops and black jackets and skirts go out of style. As such, it's also a look that can easily be updated, though I'm particularly fond of the medium-rise of the skirt.


I was actually surprised that a YSL show ended up being my favorite. I generally either don't like Piloti's designs or could never wear them, as he often highlights the hips. Though a classic Piloti cut - narrow on top, billowing from the hips - this is a much more controlled volume than he normally cuts. I feel like I could potentially wear this.


This is such a beautifully cut outfit. Though two pieces, it has the ease of a shift dress while making a playful nod at finding those beautiful dresses and shirts that fit...except in the bust. It's elegantly sensual, as well, with that peek of staid green, a kind of industrial bra, and sheer fabric that keeps the overall outfit from looking like a badly built bodysuit.


I could never wear that much volume around my shoulders, but what a fabulously essential shift dress. The details of the zipper and shoulders are beautiful and subtle and entirely incorporated into the design. Another facet of great design: the details are so subtle as to be unseen, even as you're looking right at them. Though both the shoulders and zipper are strong accents, they don't stand out as such, but as essential to the function of the dress.


And finally, a great suit. What actually got me excited about this show was a combination of the suit at the top and all of the iterations of the pants in this suit. They'd be a bitch to walk in, but they leave a beautiful line, and in this cut they don't resemble the ubiquitous haram pants that'll fall off the fashion radar in about two years. Besides that, this is an utterly beautiful evening suit in an elegant and timeless silhouette.

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4/24/2009 [1]

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