Stefano Pilati has been head of YSL for eight years. His Fall 2012 show for the house was his last collection. Having bought a subdued elegance to Yves Saint Laurent over the past years, I feel it is only fitting to salute him with one of my favourite shows from his archives. (Actually the first show of YSL I really remember making an impact)
These 5 looks were from Pilati’s Fall 2007 show, shown 5 years ago in Paris. The collection consisted of a selection of traditional St Laurent tailoring and parisian elegance. Below are my sketches.
The first look is the first look from the show. It consists of a very oversized cocoon, mohair coat with a sloped shoulder and large collar. The material is very heavy and thick and it creates a nice contrast to the sleek and graphic shape of the coat.
I used watercolour as usual for the illustrations. I wanted to get the idea of the large, heavy coat, but without making it fully blocked in black. The water just gives the illustration a little texture.
YSL was renowned for his sleek evening tailoring, his most famous look being ‘Le Smoking’ which consisted of a very chic female tuxedo. Stefano Pilati reworked the classic ‘Le Smoking’ each season, but also did exceptional evening-wear.
This dress has pieces of leather and wullen palettes sewn on to create the idea of crocodile scales. The palette of grey and blacks combined with a silk base and simple cut really makes this graphic dress stand out.
Pilati loved to play around with volume and shape as well as sleek and tapered silhouettes. This is a perfect example. An oversized collared, blouson sleeve shirt dress with a tight pencil skirt and embroidered jumper stands away from the models body but also makes her look statuesque and elegant.
The shape of the shirt-dress was really key to capture here. I love the almost draped neckline and the way the sleeves fall off the shoulders creating another cocoon shape. Its a very sporty element but Pilati seemed to make it look very elegant.
This look consists of a triple layered black woollen jacket. The jacket has the base of a long sleeved knee-lenght coat but has two overlaying panels each getting shorter with no sleeves. Teamed with an embroidered mini-dress and a knitted balaclava this look is really streamlined and “chic”. (As much as I hate that word, it really is the only way to describe YSL)
I used some silver pen on this drawing. It just emphasises the lines and layers of the coat. I also try to emphasise the little details in each sketch, like the ribbing at the bottom of the jumper dress, which is a common feature on any sports-jumper.
COLLECTION TRIVIA: This is actually the collection presented to Anna Wintour, Editor of American Vogue, By Pilati in the film “The September Issue”. She sits and listens to Stefano describe the collection and makes the comment that he is “not feeling colour for fall?”. Pilati laughs the comment off nervously and show Anna some pieces that are “Colourful”.
The Skirt Suit below is one of the few ‘Coloured’ pieces. A very dark navy/peacock blue jacket and skirt, padded to give the impression that it is infact crocodile skin. This is a really clever technique, of making different fabrics appear to be something else, often refereed to as a “Trompe L’Oeil” (To Deceive the Eye)
I didnt want to give this illustration so much meticulous detail so decided to just pen in a few of the “crocodile scales’. The colour is really beautiful and works really well in the watercolour. An embroidered turtle-neck jumper completes the look.
It is sad to see Stefano Pilati leave the house of Yves Saint Laurent, There have been so many wonderful collections over the past 8 years, however it will be interesting to see what he does next, and where his successor, Heidi Silmane, takes the brand.
Good Luck. Im sure I shall be drawing some more Pilati/YSL soon.