ves Saint Laurent's Spring and Summer 2012 collection is a bold statement of form, a very direct lineup that favors the dominant over the subtle. It is a blunt instrument, occasionally severe in its design choices, yet it makes a statement that cannot be forgotten. Sometimes we must eschew gentle technique in favor of a stronger personality, and designer Stefano Pilati surely leaves a mark.
The collection makes strong use of color blocking, featuring several outfits comprised wholly of one color. There are entire suits of blue topped with a blue coat. A high-collared white jacket sits atop white shorts in an ensemble so brilliant it's almost glaring. White is a common color in Summer, useful in its reflection of sunlight, and Mr. Pilati's collection uses it unashamedly in everything from dress shirts to windbreakers. There are white suits with white shirts, but the cut is so slim and slippery there's no mistaking the model for Tom Wolfe. Khaki also gets heavy use in the line, to the point that it feels more than a little militarized. In particular, there is one khaki-on-khaki suit with a khaki shirt that is so styled- belted across the waist, the lapels thin, the gorge high, the pants pressed and creased- as to determinedly evoke a soldier's dress uniform. Such sensibilities would probably please the late M. Laurent, who was a military man before he got into fashion.
The tailoring is similarly brusque, frequently using strong lines to form hard shapes. Shirt collars are buttoned to the top button, and they close in narrow points. Trench coats and blazers make use of the old Tautz lapel, while coats fashion high at the neck. The only places the style seems to let up are in the t-shirts and the sweaters, both of which fit looser, allowing more freedom of movement- freedom of being.
The Yves Saint Laurent man always makes a strong statement, but he never goes to excess. He keeps himself tightly controlled, adding to the force with which he approaches the world. He makes no compromises- things go his way or they don't go at all. His clothes reflect this brusque approach. They are almost austere in their solid colors and their strong lines, a result of this gentleman's demanding life. He devotes himself to his own purpose.