Fashion All The Rage

Dance is in style at Saint Laurent-sponsored fundraiser

The sunset sky was the perfect shade of Yves Saint Laurent violet as guests sat down poolside at the Beverly Hills Hotel on Thursday night for a chic fundraiser sponsored by the French fashion house for Center Dance Arts.

The nonprofit organization introduces dance to underprivileged children by providing free tickets to performances at the Music Center. So, of course, there was plenty of dancing, even during the cocktail hour when the water ballet troupe Aquartist performed in the pool, bobbing and diving in sculptural formations. Worlds away from Esther Williams, Aquartist leans more toward Cirque du Soleil, with director Stephan Miermont having performed with "O" for five years.

Then, between the lobster and lamb courses, two oversized movie screens flickered to life with "Slow Dancing," a video installation of dancers from around the world in super-slow-motion.

The guest list was a who's who of ladies in Saint Laurent, including Demi Moore in a black-and-white harlequin print silk twill sheath, Minnie Driver in a red and orange poppy print dress, Nicole Richie in a cream silk halter gown with gold Lesage beading, fashion muse Liz Goldwyn in a vintage green polka dot taffeta camisole and skirt and Liane Weintraub, Center Arts founding chairman, in a black poplin halter dress decorated with violet cutouts.

YSL designer Stefano Pilati didn't make it to L.A. for the event, but Center Dance supporters were able to get a sneak peak at his newest work Wednesday night, when the Cruise '08 collection was shown on the runway at a private home in Bel-Air.

Pilati couldn't get away because he is busy at work on the spring men's collection, which will be shown in Paris later this month. He was also doing the rounds in Venice at the Biennale. Pilati's love of art informs everything he does. You could see it in the Cruise collection where a now-you-see-it, now-you-don't blue poppy print on a draped silk shantung evening gown recalled the sensibility of Abstract Expressionist Francis Bacon. The painterly theme continued on a splendid cream silk shantung dress with multicolored paint splatters, canvas tote bags that looked as if they'd been turned upside down and dipped in color, and a pair of white jeans with poppy-like paint drips.

As for accessories, you can forget the wide leather belt of YSL seasons past: Pilati fastened canvas corset belts over everything — a white T-shirt, a metallic bronze silk taffeta dress, even a safari jacket. He also played with chunky colored rhinestones, scattering them on top of an evening slide and a black patent leather minaudiere.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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