Yves Saint Laurent Fall 2011 Show Review

Yves Saint Laurent Fall 2011 collection

Photos: Imaxtree

Looks from the Yves Saint Laurent Fall 2011 collection

SHOW: Yves Saint Laurent (See the full runway collection.)

ACCESSORIES: Higher-than-high platform pumps, clinking gold-chain jewelry and belts

OVERALL TAKEAWAY: Disco '70s sexuality for evening, brusque business suiting for day; a classic YSL dichotomy

For Fall 2011, Stefano Pilati did what he does best: He dove headfirst into the YSL archives, trawled up a few treasured—and a few not-so-treasured—memories of Yves gone by, and dusted them off for the 21st century.

This season, we're back in Saint Laurent's '70s heyday, all liquid satin, strict suiting, and lashings of fur. Well, it was mainly that era: The above-the-knee, checkered wool day dresses—sometimes erupting into volume at the shoulder—and swing-back coats spoke of the less iconic Saint Laurent '60s.

No Mondrian dresses, mercifully, but a whole lot of short, sharp volume catching the wind. It looked great thigh-high on the sky-high models, but on a woman half their height and twice their width (also known as a human being) the effect will be less killer, more killing.

Still, Pilati hit his stride with evening looks: It's not generally his strong suit, but today he nailed it with filmy chiffon-overlaid bustier dresses and a “Knights in White Satin” finale of halter gowns, smokings, and disco diva gold-and-silver platform sandals. More Halston than YSL at times, perhaps, but the slinky, sexy and seductive impact was bang-on brand.