Yves Saint Laurent: The immensity

Samuel Benchetrit directs this short film to introduce Stefani Pilati's Spring 2010 collection for Yves Saint Lauren. The clip is touching, compared to the conceptual shorts for the previous three shows (Fall 2008 and Spring 2009, Fall 2009).

A school boy, played by Benchetrit' son Jules, walks past the Hotel Bristol Paris and chances upon a key, probably thrown out the window. He picks it up, and enters the establishment. Inside the room, he picks through the life of a couple: clothes, books, letters.

The boy reads a letter among a pile of books:


I'm writing to say I can't come to Paris. As always, I missed you so much I cried. I am alone and as my love has grown so has my solitude.
Far away, I remember your touch, the feel of your kisses. Yet no words of love echo in my mind. Only silence.
Do you know, you've never said you love me? You must think that's silly.
I thought I could teach you to love. I can't love for the both of us.
Farewell, my love.


There is an imagined soundtrack in YSL's spring pieces, an undertow of both sensuality and sorrow in flowing fabrics. This first one is decidedly Japanese, with the lengthened shirt, scarf, shorts, and the cut of the jacket, which has lapels like huge petals. Notice the sleeves, their hem.

Jules then scans a book, 'La Confession d'un enfant di si├Ęcle' by Musset:

Perfection is no more made for us than immensity.
You cannot seek it in anything nor demand it in anything.
Neither in love, nor beauty, nor happiness, nor virtue.
But one must love it to be virtuous, beautiful, and happy
as much as a human being can be.

Can this outfit be less than perfect? There must have been a reason the boy wore a man's jacket in the short clip. This ensemble has a precocious sophistication: from the very low shirt collar and rolled jacket sleeves to the fabric belted trousers and sandals. And of course, the inobtrusive pocket square.

I don't know. There is such emotion in this picture. Can a cardigan do that? The dragging folds and pleats of pants? Or is it really the understated belt and sandals?

Even the sleeves of this zippered jacket are rolled. There is the shadow of Rick Owens, but lazier. Clothes droop as if dragged by a sad anchor. (Note the "caged" sandals.)

This jumpsuit is almost as feminine as a bodysuit, but with the feel of a caftan.

A lonely traveller keeps even the mutterings of the wind on the street to himself.

Not only do the sleeves of this cutaway jacket flare then taper, white leggings peek beneath the trousers. What makes the clothes so laid-back yet at the same time deft and calculated is precisely this mix of loose and tight.

From petal shapes above, the lapels of this coat take the form of a turtle's shell. The form as hardy as the soles of these sandals. (Is that a black robe extending beneath the tunic-like shirt?)

It still befuddles me how the shoes and turban actually work with the top. Like old Hollywood brought to the desert.

The high waists, the tucked in cardigan, the pleats, the layering of sleeves. Somehow, even if the show's silhouettes are new for the house, they retain its romanticism. (Yes, even with the presence of the low, square-collared shirt that almost looks like lingerie.)

Now the shirt is very finely ribbed, and sheer. The vest. The bandana, which together with the previous headbands and turbans, and sandals, maintain the eastern mood.

Now the layering treads into more western territory, especially with the contrasts.

The most chic ninja turtle you'll ever see — what with the lined leather jacket, its geometric back, and the footwear.

A leather jacket good enough as a blanket.

Wonderful how the zippered jumpsuit is belted, worn over a buttoned cardigan, and gives the impression of pants.

Meet the maitre'd.

Textures like skins. (Note only one button is buttoned and a shirt is worn underneath.)

Time for Yves Saint Laurent's regular clients.

Even with the absence of the low-collared shirt under the jackets, this ribbed and sheer cardigan does the job.

Now finally for the barest inspiration: the white tee that spawned it all, and the barest belt buckle that sticks out like a tongue.