YSO - fall/winter 2002

It might’ve bothered other designers to be the concluding show at Montreal Fashion Week. But in this case it made perfect sense. Standing alone and far away from the pack, Montreal couture iconoclast Yso presented his 7th collection, Pluie Urbaine. Following no Canadian trends allows for the mobility to create what those of us present on March 7th were utterly stunned by.

The demure collection, done almost entirely in pink and black, is a minimalist oeuvre rife with austere sensuality and emotional depth. And to the relief of many, the dream is wearable. Very wearable.

A dusty rose jersey pant with a low-cut hemless waist is a prime example of how Yso continues to elegantly accentuate height. Other pants feature rear pleating, hems of gossamer lace or wide satin bands. The technique of flaring the outside leg while the inside is tightly cropped is only possible through Siphay Southidara’s mastery of the bias cut.

The skirts are definitely the highlights of the collection. The double-layered bias-cut gothic lace wraparound skirt is a significant piece in Canadian design this season. It is also a versatile option, doubling as a shawl. The torn pink silk chiffon filleted skirt is an organic, breathing thing, while the black A-line mini-suit with French cuffs adds a touch of French Resistance to an otherwise unaffected collection.

Yso’s greatest strength may be found in the conflict inherent in his design philosophy. The exquisite tailoring is beautifully and continually betrayed by the frayed raw edges, a double-entendre from start to finish. Bravo.

Daniel Cox, Fashion Editor
Marek Wlazlo, Photographer