The Labels: The Yves Saint Laurent and Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche brands seem to be recovering from an identity crisis that began in 1999, when the luxury label was first purchased by Gucci for $900 million and design direction taken over by super slick Tom Ford (pictured). Yves Saint Laurent, who retired in 2002, changed the way women dressed when he launched his label in 1962. He put them in mannish pant-suits with square shoulders, smoking jackets, safari jackets, and tuxedos, but softened the androgyny with billowy peasant blouses and fitted, flouncy couture gowns in dramatic colors. New designer Stefano Pilati is bringing it all back home, returning to those YSL classics and making them staples of the eveningwear and ready-to-wear collection.

The Looks: Sexpot in a power suit. Trust-fund bohemian. Red-carpet diva.

The Designer Now: Stefano Pilati, formerly Tom Fordís chief deputy of the YSL Rive Gauche ready-to-wear collection, and a designer for Miu Miu and Giorgio Armani prior to that.

The Designers Then: While Saint Laurent kept hold of the couture reins until his retirement in 2002, Tom Ford most recently oversaw design for ready-to-wear. Ford replaced Alber Elbaz, who is now creative director of Lanvin.

Who Wears It: Everyone from long-standing fans like YSL muse Betty Catroux and Catherine Deneuve, to young and hip starlets Renee Zellweger and Chloe Sevigny.



New! Spring 2006 Paris (Men's)

Spring 2005

  Spring 2002    
  Yves St. Laurent Rive Gauche Gabay's  
  Tom Ford: Interview (July 14, 2003)