YSO - spring/summer 2003

Yso’s show is the most anticipated of Montreal Fashion Week, and there is a distinct buzz in the room seconds before the house lights are dimmed. Indeed, Yso’s charm is elusive, sometimes leaving us with more questions than answers. What is never hard to grasp is the level of fearless risk involved when another Yso collection takes to the footlights. Risk for a designer whose philosophy of change almost necessitates surprise; risk for an audience who submits time and time again to the unpredictable.

The sun shines brightly in Yso’s spring/summer 2003 sky. White and lime green lace form the majority of the collection, with a variety of puffy skirts and swaying v-neck tops. The white cotton ‘Y’ tank top is a strong silhouette, especially when worn atop a tan v-neck tank and matched with sculpted pair of flared, cream pants. Good pants that cradle the hips are essential for a couture designer, and Yso flaunts a white pair of these with embroidered front stripes that slowly meander down to the sides. The visual effect of this implied movement is, of course, emphasis on all the right curves. A white cotton set with stitch-embroidered patterns as well as some pastel blue pieces round out what is a very light collection.

As airy as they are, there is a certain intrinsic melancholy in many of the pieces, and one can’t help but want to catch these fragile creations before they float out of reach. There is a practical reason for this. An unsung attribute of this collection is the amount of detail put into that most forgotten of anatomical places: the small of the back. The back detailing is often arranged to look as though a set of wings had been cropped. The laconic arbiter of style himself, Siphay Southidara, explains. “I use the back and shoulder-blades as a point of departure.” It is ironic that the collection’s wings also seem to be clipped a little short. But maybe, as believers, we are searching for answers when we should be asking questions.

Daniel Cox, Fashion Editor
Marek Wlazlo, Photographer