Yves Saint Laurent has ended his fights of costume fantansy (which took him and his customers) to Russia and China and has landed with a new collection and spring that is New York inspired and as modern as the Concorde.
And while the buyers praised his collection for spring at this week's showings here as being very valuable, the show never roused the cheers and applause that heightened all those past YSL costume trips.
In some ways the YSL customer (and those who quickly imitate the look will not look wildly different from other Paris-designer customers this spring - with all the full-scale [WORD ILLEGIBLE] ear. But at YSL it is carefully scaled down to a less full blouson, and many of the pants and skirts are designed to be slim over the top of the hips.
He is partial to khaki and white and loden and has revived an earlier theme - once dubbed very Mondrian-like - of big blocks of color in sweaters, tunics and dresses.
His color combinations are never the expected - two shades of navy blue in a costume, even two shades of white (and off-white). Rather than looking mismatched, they look very fresh.
When YSL, abandoned his elaborate costume looks he also gave up the colorful prints that adorned them. Now there are plaids and stripes, done simply and architecturally, such as a stark black and white plaid used in a ruffle trimmed, almost see-through dress, with an uneven, cut-up hemline.
"After such an explosion of prints the reaction had to come," said Gustay Zumsteg, the head of Abraham and Co. where a large number of YSL fabrics are made.
Along with the stripes and plaids are several butterfly and dove prints, all small designes, in bright colors on dark backgrounds that look almost like book-paper prints.
His solids are often a silk shantung tussah, a fabric that hasn't been used in a while that has a slight slub, and is really more rigid than many of the soft fabrics that have been so popular recently.
YSL may have chosen shantung not only for its appearance but the fact that it has Chinese origins. The silk is Chinese and it is woven in China and dyed and printed in Switzerland.
He's also kept in mind all those ladies who own his Chinese designs by including several quilted jackets that have the overstitching more for decoration than warmth. The jackets are cut quite unlike a traditional Chinese style including one rounded cutaway with contrast borders.
Even the ruffles are still around at YSL so as not to insult those customers who will still be wearing those from his past collections. But now they are far more subtle. Like ruffle trims at the hem of the crepe de chine print dresses we once called "cocktail dressed."
Like Karl Lagerfeld, YSL has included many transparent styles and revealing deep side slits.
Geraldine Stutz, Henri Bendel president, who put YSL into the genius category for being able to create "modern sportswear" with as much ease and skill as he does romantic fantasy dressing, like his transparent styles. "Of course, today we are concentrating more on our bodies. This is the last vestige of real freedom," said Stutz enthusiastically. "It is taking fashion for what it really is - something to put on your body."