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Brief Published: 6 Mar 2012

PFW A/W 12-13: Old vs New


Yesterday's catwalks at Paris Fashion Week marked both the end of an era and exciting new beginnings. Presenting his last collection for Yves Saint Laurent, Italian designer Stefano Pilati took a final bow as creative director of the Parisian brand – a position he has held since 2004.

Always elegant and focused on the strength of femininity, Pilati’s concluding collection for Autumn/Winter 2012-13 combined retro with futuristic for a striking, sexy aesthetic with a distinctly postmodern undertone. Somewhat severe at times, black leather, stiff cuffs and lapels and robustly cinched-in waists make for a fierce attitude that ran throughout the show. The message was softened only slightly by the shimmering chainmail dresses with exposed, crossover backs or plunging necklines. Bladerunner-esque in its warrior-like take on 1980s styling, Pilati succeeded in marrying his signature sense of after-dark glamour with this forward-looking aesthetic that has so far dominated the Parisian catwalks.

Conversely at Chloe, a new era is in full swing, with Claire Wright-Keller presenting her second collection for the brand. Upholding the label’s signature interest in bohemian insouciance and the 1970s, Keller incorporated mid-length skirts and culottes, waffle-knit turtlenecks and covetable wool coats in her relaxed, retro collection. The colour palette was both warm and soft with classic seventies tones like rust, teal and mustard keeping the aesthetic retrospective, while spring pastels offered a fresh contrast for the Winter season. Numerous looks clearly resonated with Stylus’ Sidestep industry trend, with drop-waist sack silhouettes, homespun quilt jumpers and lace Prairie-style dresses reflecting Sidestep's Womenswear Styling: Homegrown report.

Paris Fashion Week concludes tomorrow.

Paris Fashion Week