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american cup prada shoes made his point. The sporty clothes had an invigorating energy. They were youthful, buoyant and cuddly.There was a simplicity to the collection that was refreshing. There was little tricky styling except for the crimped hair pulled down over the models' eyes that was distracting and unflattering. Lagerfeld makes the challenge of balancing history and modernity look easy.The difficulty of that balancing act is nowhere more evident than at YSL, where Pilati has worked to honor the reputation of the house while also designing clothes that young women will want to wear. Ideas that looked chic and breezy in the 1960s and '70s, when they were conceived, look fussy and cumbersome today. Gypsy dressing, knickers, ruffles, oversize polka dots look like costuming, not something that belongs on Metro at rush hour.But it may be that Pilati is at last figuring things out. The collection he presented Thursday at the Pompidou Center was his best effort so far. At times, it dazzled as it hit that elusive magical note that rings of both the past and the present.In his show notes, he says that he was striving to revive "the power and purity of Yves Saint Laurent style." YSL stood for independence. The clothes allowed women to see themselves as less fragile and more powerful at a time when that was a revelation. That sensibility had gone missing. Pilati restored it.He tossed out the distracting collars, the overwhelming ruffles, the prissy prints and the hobbling heels. He kept the silhouettes simple and mostly unadorned.Cocoon dresses hung loosely from the shoulders, dipped low in the back to highlight the nape of the neck and then gently curved inward at the hem. His tuxedos, with their cropped trousers and crisp shawl collar jackets, had the seductiveness of gender bending but not the harshness of androgyny.High buttoning silk blouses with soft scarf ties contrasted with structured coats. Fluid dresses were embossed with crocodile scales. Trapeze coats stood away from the body in an architectural ode to geometry. And the color palette charcoal gray, black, pine green and sea foam was sophisticated without being matronly.In the same way that the founder was connected to the modern