by Alex Fury .

Louis Vuitton and Yves Saint Laurent 2010 Resort Press Days

YSL's 'Coral' lace
Louis Vuitton parties like it's 1989!

For me, Yves Saint Laurent and Louis Vuitton are two of the loftiest bastions of French fashion - and it's fitting that they should hold the press presentations of their 2010 Resort collections not only on the same day but a mere stone's throw away from each other. It was equally interesting that the inspirations behind the respective labels were not a million miles apart: it seems a European affectation to take the name 'Resort' quite literally and be inspired by cruising, wading and all things seaside and summery. Well, either that or both Marc and Stefano have been watching too much SpongeBob SquarePants.

For resort, Marc Jacobs took his eighties Le Palace Lacroix-alike bagatelle for a quick spin to Deauville. Queue deckchair ticking-stripes rendered in fine silk taffeta on bustled bloomer-shorts (far better than I make them sound) and a natty way with broiderie anglaise - in both traditional floral and that ubiquitous Vuitton monogram - crafted into bikinis and swimsuits. A strapless bow-fronted mini-dress was rendered in sou-wester yelllow cotton studded with saucer-sized gilt buttons, with the LV logo reconfigured to resemble something between a reef-knot and Lacroix's curly-swirly 1980s insignia. Espadrilles came sky-high and festooned with leather rosettes, while the hefty, chunky jewellery was oversized anchor-chairs actually constructed from gilt-encrusted sailboat rope. Get the message? If you do, it's evidently time to get a yacht to match. Kudos where due, it was all done with a light, even hand, while the abbreviated fullness of mini-crini skirts and those chunky shorts looked fresh and new. If Princess Gloria von Thurn und Taxis decided to go shrimping, this is exactly what she would - and should - wear. Oddly for Louie Vouie, the handbags seemed something of a Second Mate - a suede pochette with gold logo print and a couple of Starbust-hued Monogram Vernis shoppers were all we got, bar the hefty (in size and price) steamer-trunks and vanity cases dotted about the room like ghosts from a more glamorous age. Admittedly, they were enough to make anyone want to go cruising.

Stefano Pilati's Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche Resort collection also ventured to the beach - while we expect in-jokes from Jacobs, Pilati's excursion was more unexpectedly whimsical than his usual offerings. Seashells were the inspiration - basic, perhaps, and often difficult fayre for designer imaginations. Remember that 'uncompromising' Chanel couture collection that ended up halfway between fashion and fossil (and left Anna Wintour looking like a washed-up mollusc)? No such slip-ups here, as Stefano's references, like his way with fabric, was soft, gentle and always subtle. A chiffon-veiled cocktail dress had an underskirt of heavily-worked guipure lace specially woven to resemble the hard skeletal fronds of a coral reef (the picture above will evidently save me a thousand words). Even when Pilati directly addressed the theme, as in a strapless sand organza frock embroidered with raffia that looked rather crustacean at first glance, he always managed to pull it back to desirability and wearability. His soft, unstructured jackets - halfway between tailleur and flou in liquid georgette - make the perfect transition between boulevard and beach. The accessories hammered home the subterranean themes, with thick slices of agate and mother-of-pearl adorning pendant necklaces and bracelets and the self-same shades worked into hefty heels in hues through oyster and pearl to brilliant fuchsia. My personal favourite however was Pilati's update on YSL's still-bestselling downtown. The iconic bag was rendered as a miniaturised solid-silver minaudière so heavy it walks a fine line between objet d'art and offensive weaponry. Not terribly 'Resort', but fabulous nonetheless. Put me on the waiting list...

2 comments

  1. someonegreat
    17:09 24 Jul 2009
    hmmm, I can definitely see one or more members of the SHOWstudio team toting one of those silver beauties...
    www.showstudio.com/contributors/10077
  2. leonor
    22:17 26 Jul 2009
    The coral-woven-lace really is beautiful!

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