Incorrect credit appeared on the Fashion columns of July 29 and Aug. 5. Most of the material in the columns was written by Marylou Luther of the Los Angeles Times Syndicate, and she should have been given the credit. (Published 8/12/90)
After months of illness, Yves Saint Laurent was healthy enough to walk down the runway at the end of his haute couture show in Paris last month. Saint Laurent was hospitalized in March with what doctors were calling nervous exhaustion and was unable to attendhis ready-to-wear collection.
As usual, Saint Laurent presented an elegant collection. Themes included lace (layered over stiffer materials in bright yellow and magenta, as well as on cocktail suits), animal prints (for blouses, skirts and evening dresses), simple black dresses and lots of feathers. And, like many other designers this season, Saint Laurent also showed the pouf skirt.
Claude Montana of Lanvin won the first standing ovation of the 1990-91 Fall-Winter haute couture week. His first collection last spring received less than rave reviews. However, this season he proved himself so worthy that he won the Golden Thimble award for the season's best collection.
His clothes are future, not futuristic. They are elegant, beautifully made and chic. Pants are prominent -- so are jumpsuits, feathers, metallics, silver, gold, bronze and gemstones.
Like Montana, Gianfranco Ferre, in his first collection for the house of Christian Dior last year, did not receive wonderful reviews. However, this season Ferre seems to have redeemed himself. Ferre showed many short skirts, elaborate coats over dresses, and, of course, his signature bows.
Daytime suits with jeweled buttons were seen in many collections this season. Philippe Venet showed the most elegant ones in cashmere with collarless jackets. He also gave some of his daytime suits a new twist -- instead of blouses he showed cutaway satin tunics.
Oscar de la Renta announced last week that he will show his ready-to- wear collection in Paris next March. "I am very excited, it's one of the great challenges in my life. ... In a way it's like going back to my beginnings, but I am proud that this time I am going back as an American designer." (The late Patrick Kelly was the first American to be accepted by the Chambre Syndicale -- the governing body of Paris haute couture -- and to show in Paris; however, his company was based in Paris.)
The Chambre Syndicale also announced that the first Soviet, Valentin Yudashkin, will show a couture collection sometime next year. American designer Bob Mackie has postponed his decision to show his ready-to-wear in Paris.
Marc Bohan, formerly of Christian Dior, has been appointed artistic and design director of Hartnell of London. Bohan was artistic director of Christian Dior from 1960 to 1989. He will show his first couture collection in London next February for spring-summer 1991. A ready-to-wear collection is also being planned for the near future.
Erik Mortensen, haute couture designer for Pierre Balmain, announced during the week that he would be leaving the firm. Mortensen had been with the house for 40 years and shocked everyone with his decision.