as i was scrolling through the online fashion rags today i saw an article about former ysl designer stefano pilati starting a new label, and i felt a rush of excitement that is sort of exclusive to stefano pilati for me. his run of collections for ysl were some of my personal favorites, collections that made such major impressions on me. when pilati left ysl i remember being super bummed, and feeling even more bummed as pilati seemed to focus on menswear and then move to italian label agnona instead of jumping to another giant fashion house. after his departure from agnona in 2016, he seemed to disappear.
the reasons that i love stefano pilati are many. stefano pilati is a master at proportion play, pairing slim capri pants with cocoon coats and bodysuits with blazers. pilati was known for his dark collections, and he did a lot of monochrome black, white & gray, but his use of color always surprised the shit out of me. he would pair colors that are typically considered clashing like canary yellow and gold or orange & black and make them look completely natural, as if they belong together. he had a way of using tones to make colors blend together naturally, an almost lavender would flow into a melon gold and taffy pink with such ease. he also made me feel like something as basic as navy blue can be the most gorgeous color in the world.
i often look back at his collections from his time at ysl and marvel at how those collections (from 7+ years ago), with their voluminous sleeves and intricate ruffles, could be from present day. it’s amazing to think that way back in 2009, the age of marc jacobs maximalism and alexander mcqueen/comme des garcons/margiela futuristic fantasticism, stefano pilati was talking about “a natural and honest chic, an aesthetic paradigm of new minimalism.” pilati has always been an innovator, interested in moving fashion forward. his first collection with agnona in 2013 was presented in a pop up shop where the collection was for sale, years before see-now-buy-now hit the runways. pilati always seemed to struggle with the structure of ysl, such a machine for churning out collections with the loom of its great namesake hanging overhead. with agnona he tried to separate menswear from the couture line, but his last collections saw a blending of menswear and couture, using many of the same fabrics from the menswear collection and calling his last couture collection “a fantasy about identity.”
his newest venture was revealed over instagram stories (17 looks were posted, all of which disappeared after 24 hours), a collection of “genderless and seasonless” pieces, all black, to be released some time in the near future. what the structure of the label will look like isn’t known yet, but pilati said that he is exploring instagram as a platform, and added that “the relationship between price and value will be exceptional.” perhaps this post-vetements world, where the rules are being thrown out, is just the place for stefano pilati to make his voice heard.