Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Paris Powers Show Fresh Spring Looks

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Paris Powers Show Fresh Spring Looks

Article excerpt

THERE'S SOMETHING to be said for staying power, and both Yves Saint Laurent and Valentino prove it with their spring collections.

Each offers a fresh collection without froufrou, gimmicks or other fashion follies. Yves Saint Laurent

Amid all the stormy seas of fashion for spring - good taste, bad taste, hippies, ballerinas, Smilon Nylon junkies and, of course, those deified super-stylists who lord it over all - the collection Yves Saint Laurent showed was more than a pleasure. It was a relief.

Saint Laurent soothed the frenzied nerves of the fashion flock with a collection that shuns folly and focuses on the kind of clothes that make women look beautiful.

First, there's his tailoring, which, of course, is impeccable.

While others are tinkering with a new, strong shoulder, it's merely business as usual at Saint Laurent, and it looks great in shapely suits, belted shirt jackets and morning-striped boleros.

On a softer note, there are slouchy sweaters and tunics over short skirts, as well as gentle belted wrap dresses.

Saint Laurent gets a little too fluid with flowery, flounced chiffons, but he's back in control at night, with long, lean skirts with midriff tops and a knockout blue satin gown.

It all adds up to the calmer side of chic - and it's just what the weary hordes of fashion need. Valentino

Valentino knows a good idea when he sees it.

Last season, he introduced his new knit and chiffon evening dresses, and they were such a big hit he brought them back this season - by the boatload.

They were a great ending to a great show.

"I wanted it to be simple, young, spare, if you like," said Valentino, a designer who has heretofore never been accused of being a minimalist.

But Val certainly has toned down. Gone are the jewelry, the bows, the buttons, the big hair and almost all of the supermodels.

"They're still great, but they need to be mixed with new blood," declared Valentino, who only six months ago was defending them in full-page newspaper ads.

But it was wise of the designer to move on. The fresh faces worked well with his new fresh look: a slew of navy-and-white striped nautical numbers, with loose A-line skirts or full pants and kicky jackets; gorgeous pastel day dresses; and jewel-toned cocktail ensembles that lit up the runway. …

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