There is an air of cool that runs through the YSL Spring 09 menswear offerings. Though it is not the aloof continental cool of last seasons suave suits and scarves Stefano Pilati has pulled out all the stops, creating a look that is subtly nostalgic yet thoroughly modern. Instead of sticking to any one era Pilati runs the gamut from 1950s greaser-chic leather jackets to draping 80s style patched and pinched jodhpurs. The mix is a bold pastiche of eras and influences but such combination suits the already complex temperament of the post-modern man.

The silhouette itself is harsh, leaning towards diametrically opposed proportions. Slim tapered leg trousers are far from flattering and the loose fitting cropped pants verge on frumpy but as with all difficult trends they can be irresistible on the right person. The entire collection radiates an air of sartorial exclusivity. On the wrong man the glittering cardigans and casual moccasins could seem too feminine or simply discordant but when paired with the appropriate personality they can be perfection.

But who is this YSL man of mystery? Save a few discerning dandies and slight rakes I’m hard pressed to think of men daring enough to wear the entire look as shown. Pieces were of course meant to be mixed into the greater portion of a wardrobe so there will be ways to bring elements of the Marcello Mastroianni meets Ian Curtis feel of the collection into everyday life without falling into the trap of catwalk caricature.

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