The Sense of Breaking Through Something

 Photo credit: New York Times

 
 

For eight consecutive seasons, Stefano Pilati released a Yves Saint Laurent Manifesto, distributed across cities globally. Working with photographers Inez van Lamsweerde & Vinoodh Matadin, Pilati’s Manifesto is intended to ‘bring the brand back to the streets’.An innovative initiative, which continues the succession of revolutionary moves Mr Saint Laurent made: he was the first French couturier to release a ready-to-wear line.

 
 

Daria Werbowy photographed by Inez van Lamsweerde & Vinoodh Matadin. YSL by Stefano Pilati Fall/Winter 2010-2011 collection.

 
 

The YSL Manifesto is much more than an en masse distribution of the seasonal campaign shots. Staying true to the idea of a ‘manifesto’ – a public written declaration of the intentions, opinion, or motives of a leader – it is a powerful, multi-layered message which goes a long way to explain Pilati’s thinking and visual iconography for the season.

“I fell in love with the idea of manifestos and with the term itself, because the word ‘manifesto’ implied a sense of breaking through something while still being connected to and aware of how things are today. In terms of the format, I didn’t really relate to any historical manifestos I’ve seen because my medium is fashion… There is fashion photography in the manifesto so even the idea of showing the pictures larger than they appear in normal magazines was part of the act of manifesting. First of all you need to question whether it’s interesting or not to be political about fashion, or instead you wish to reinforce a message to people that is simply about looking good and projecting a positive energy about yourself. I was no longer interested in thinking of fashion in an elitist way. Everything I picked up from the manifestos in the past suggested that they were trying to create energy around an ideology that was considered, in its time, underground. So I thought for today I would offer another perspective of a luxury brand to a broad demographic that doesn’t necessarily relate to fashion in the way that a more privileged layer of people do. I wanted to create a wider influence for the message that was being sent from the catwalk, by taking imagery of a collection and giving it to people on environmentally friendly paper in the street without targeting a specific demographic. One of my visions for Saint Laurent is about giving back, so that even if you can’t afford it, you can still pick up the essence of the message, the elements of fashion that might be considered increasingly irrelevant but remain for me its main aspects: the silhouette, the way the clothes are cut, the fabrics, a special pattern. It’s to say – “These are my thoughts and this is my message – you can pick up something from this and do it yourself. The Yves Saint Laurent manifestos are against aggressively, against exclusivity, against classification, against isolation, against introversion, against always looking at oneself. This is what it comes to in the end. Fashion can give rise to all of these things and it shouldn’t, especially today.”

 
 

To watch Manifesto Edition VII (Fall/Winter 2010-2011 collection), please take a gander at The Genealogy of Style’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Genealogy-of-Style/597542157001228?ref=hl

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The Romanian Blouse

Queen Marie of Romania

 
 

The main piece of the Romanian national dress is the blouse, the term being only attributed to the blouse worn by women. It is actually a Romanian traditional blouse worn on festive days, which is made of white cloth, cotton, flax or raw silk tissue, adorned with beads and embroideries on the sleeves and the neckline. The technique of adorning this blouse was handed down from mother to daughter, a fact that preserved the tradition and taste from one generation to another. The patterns are stylized, geometrical or inspired from nature.

In the course of time, the finesse of the materials that were used, the chromatic harmony, but also the cut of the pieces of the Romanian national dress, which were woven, cut and embroidered by hand, were appreciated by Romania’s Queens Elisabeta and Marie, but also by the women aristocrats of the time, who were proud to wear the Romanian national dress at various times.

 
 

The first Blouse Roumaine prototype is considered to be created starting the 6th century B.C in Cucuteni culture. The ancient piece was called “ie”. The name derived from Latin “tunicae linae” which means thin tunic.

 
 

The sewing process of a blouse roumaine. The tradition of manufacturing the blouse is still kept among very rare artisans who are living on forgotten lands of ancient romanian villages.

 
 

Revolutionary Romania (portrait of Maria Rosetti), Constantin Daniel Rosenthal, 1848

 
 

On the other hand, the Romanian blouse caught the artists’ eye and was immortalized by French painter Henri Matisse in several paintings, one of them, La Blouse roumaine (1940), being exhibited at the National Museum of Modern Art in Paris. A Romanian painter, Constantin Daniel Rosenthal, immortalized Maria Rosetti (the sister of artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti as well as William Michael Rossetti and Christina Georgina Rossetti) in Revolutionary Romania as wearing this kind of blouse and a head kerchief. The Romanian blouse also appears in the paintings made by Camil Ressu, Ion Theodorescu-Sion, Francisc Sirato, Nicolae Tonitza, Dumitru Ghiata, etc.

 
 

Yves Saint Laurent, 1981 Collection

 
 

Yves Saint Laurent, Spring/Summer 1997-1998

 
 

Stefano Pilati for Yves Saint Laurent

 
 

Jean-Paul Gaultier

 
 

Oscar De la Renta

 
 

Matthew Williamson

 
 

Adele wearing a Tom Ford blouse (spring summer 2011 collection)

 
 

Carolina Herrera Resort 2013 Collection

 
 

The Romanian blouse was equally the source of inspiration for the creation of some fashion designers such as Yves Saint Laurent, who in 1981 had an entire collection titled ‘La Blouse roumaine,’ followed by Jean Paul Gaultier, Kenzo or Tom Ford, who interpreted again the traditional blouse he found in the region of Sibiu (central Romania), with black embroidery specific to that area, which appeared in the American issue of Vogue magazine in March 2012, worn by singer Adele. Then there were Oscar de la Renta, Agatha Ruiz de la Prada, Anna Sui or Philippe Guilet. Some of the Romanian fashion designers that took their inspiration from the Romanian national dress are Adrian Oianu, Dorin Negrau, Corina Vladescu and Ingrid Vlasov.

Matisse, Patti Smith and Sunflowers

Stefano Pilati drew inspiration from Patti Smith while styling this fashion editorial for Harper’s Bazaar (YSL Remixed by Kristina O’Neill, December 2005). The blouse was inspired by Matisse and Picasso’s muses. Photo: Anthony Ward

 
 

Vase of Sunflowers, Henri Matisse, 1898

 
 

Patti, Car and Sunflowers. Photo by Judy Linn. Circa early ’70s

Björk Show Us the Future

Björk in the cover of the Dazed and Confused 200th issue (August 2011), wearing a metallic paper top by Paco Rabanne

 
 

Jumpsuit Crystalline by Stefano Pilati

 
 

 
 

Biophilia (2011) artwork by M/M Paris, Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin

 
 

Rod Stanley, editor of Dazed and Confused, went to New York to meet Björk before Biophilia was released. He asked her to be the cover girl of the 200th issue, which would be dedicated mostly to the scientists, musicians, engineers, designers, artists and any other collaborators from her ambitious multimedia project. From the aesthetic aspect: Three as four (they designed the harp-shaped belt she wears in the sleeve of the album). The brand Paco Rabanne and Stefano Pilatti, the-then artistic director from Yves Saint Laurent did lend some outfits. Katy England was the stylist and Sam Falls signed the photographic document inspired by the lyric abstractionism from Wassily Kandisnky.

Ain’t Nothin’ Like the Real Thing

“I got your picture hangin’ on the wall

It can’t see or come to me when I call your name

I realize it’s just a picture in a frame.

I read your letters when you’re not near

But they don’t move me

And they don’t groove me like when I hear

Your sweet voice whispering in my ear …”

Marvin Gaye

 
 

Stills and Making-off

 
 

Ain’t Nothin’ Like the Real Thing is a promotional short directed by Bruce Weber, featuring the YSL Autumn Winter Collection Homme 2010-2011 designed by Stefano Pilati. It was titled after Marvin Gaye’s song. Bunny Yeager, the American pin-up who after leaving modeling found a career as a photographer was an influence on Weber’s concept. “Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose” a line from Me and Bobby McGee, the song composed by Kris Kristofferson, is recounted in the spoken lines.
 
In one scene, we see someone ironing a T-shirt with an ancient Tahitian proverb printed on it: “Nehenehe Oe,E Amu Ite Oraraa E Na Te Oraraa E Amu Ia Oe” (“You can eat life or let life eat you”). The same line was quoted by Tarita Teripiia in the fourth motion picture version of Mutiny on the Bounty (Lewis Milestone, 1962). Tarita was the third and last of Marlon Brando’s wives. Tarita and Brando met on the set of the film.