Apparently if you really wanted to piss off the new regime under Hedi Slimane at the renamed Saint Laurent Paris guests were encouraged NOT WEAR anything designed by Stefano Pilati for today's runway debut. It is strictly verboten, according to many people involved with the relaunch. I cannot confirm if it was the same situation with anything designed by Alber Elbaz for Yves Saint Laurent during his all-too-brief stint. Nor have I inquired about Tom Ford looks. Lately, I have been searching for pieces by Alber since he only designed three collections for YSL in the late 1990s. Perhaps it is his 10th Anniversary at Lanvin and his triumphs at this house, that has made me very fascinated about his stint. Certainly, Alber is regarded as one of the supreme talents working in fashion today. He spent pivotal years with Geoffrey Beene in NYC before a quick year at Guy Laroche in 1997, the year Decades opened and the year I first became familiar with Alber Elbaz. Tom Ford booted him out of YSL when Gucci Group took over YSL and TF took duo Creative Director control of both YSL and Gucci. Alber did a quickie at Krizia before landing safely and successfully at Lanvin. It's the YSL year of Alber that really gave him critical acclaim and I remember when Chloe Sevigny attended a slew of Award Shows in 2000 as a nominee for "Boys Dont Cry" that Alber's name became a bold one.
This red leather wrap trench dress is a perfect example of why Alber Elbaz for Yves Saint Laurent really put the charming designer on the trajectory as a fashion star. He took the familiar codes of YSL (trench, leather, color red) and mixed it all together into a thoroughly modern and wearable and ultimately timeless silhouette.
All eyes and ears are Hedi Slimane's debut in Paris for Saint Laurent Paris and it appears that Hedi went very retro 70s YSL hippie chic Hollywood hills but in his signature skinny silhouette.. If you want to keep the fashion cognoscenti guessing, start wearing the strictly limited pieces Alber designed for YSL. A surprisingly large number of people have no idea Alber had three collection at YSL. When someone asks you what you are wearing respond with an all-too-intelligent: "YSL by Alber Elbaz." You just might hear a "say whaaaaaaaaat?"
YSL Rive Gauche by Alber Elbaz red leather wrap coat dress, Fall 1999, marked size 38.
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