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PRINT December 2008

Isabelle Graw

WITH A SUMMER COLLECTION that applied clichéd markers of painting (drips, splashes, areas off leaking color) to shoes and clothes, Yves Saint Laurent designer Stefano Pilati once again proved himself a worthy successor to his house’s great namesake, to whom France bid farewell this year with a state funeral. In that country Saint Laurent is seen as the most important artist since Picasso—a striking demonstration of the ultimate victory fashion has won over the fine arts in Paris, where fashion seems not only to have stolen the idea of modern art but also to have an ever-expanding cultural impact (unlike contemporary art). Indeed, if Saint Laurent’s relationship with art was throughout his life one of immediate and respectful appropriation of an artist’s work (e.g., the “Mondrian” day dress of 1965), Pilati instead draws on a repertoire of established motifs associated with “modern

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