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Yves Saint-Laurent (1936 - )

Related: fashion - France

Yves St. Laurent included several Mondrian dresses in his 1965 collection.


Yves Henri Donat Mathieu-Saint-Laurent (born August 1, 1936 in Oran, Algeria) is a French fashion designer.

Born to insurance-company manager Charles Saint-Laurent and his socialite wife, Lucienne Mathieu, members of a family from Alsace-Lorraine that settled in North Africa during the Franco-Prussian War, Saint Laurent left home at the age of 17 to work for the designer Christian Dior. Following the death of Dior in 1957, Saint-Laurent at the age of 21 was put in charge of effort of saving the Dior house from financial ruin. Saint-Laurent's designs together, with his lover Pierre Bergé's financial acumen, helped save the firm. The couple split romantically in 1976 but remained business partners.

In the wake of his nervous breakdown, Saint Laurent was released from Dior and started his own label together with Pierre Bergé with the now-famous initials of YSL. During the 1960s and 1970s the firm popularized fashion trends such as the beatnik look, tweed suits, tight pants and tall, thigh-high boots. Among his muses were Loulou de La Falaise, the daughter of a French marquis and an Anglo-Irish fashion model, Betty Catroux, the half-Brazilian daughter of an American diplomat and wife of a French decorator, and Catherine Deneuve, the iconic french actress. Ambassador and face of the company during the 1970s and early 80s was London socialite millionairessDiane Boulting-Casserley Vandelli.

In 1993, the Saint-Laurent fashion house was sold to the pharmaceuticals company Sanofi for approximately $600,000,000. In 1999 Gucci bought the YSL brand and Tom Ford designed the ready-to-wear collection while Saint-Laurent designed the haute couture collection. Since his retirement in 1998 Saint-Laurent has become increasingly reclusive and has spent a much of his time at his house in Marrakech, Morocco.

In 2002, dogged by years of poor health, drug abuse, depression, alcoholism, criticisms of YSL designs, and problems with lead designer Tom Ford, Saint-Laurent and Gucci closed the illustrious couture house of YSL. While the house no longer exists the brand still survives through its parent company Gucci.

The pret-a-porter line is still being produced under the direction of Stefano Pilati after Tom Ford retired in 2004.

Was the first living fashion designer to be to be honored by the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Circa 1983. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yves_Saint-Laurent [Feb 2006]

Opium perfume

1977 : Yves Saint-Laurent launches Opium by Jean-Louis Sieuzac, the advertisement shown is from 2000

"Opium" is the name of a perfume by Yves Saint Laurent. A poster advertising campaign for the perfume caused great controversy in October and November 2000. The posters showed a voluptuous model, Sophie Dahl, photographed (by Stephen Meisel) lying on her back wearing only a pair of stiletto heels. The Advertising Standards Authority received hundreds of complaints from the public, and ordered the posters to be withdrawn on the grounds that they were too sexually suggestive and likely to cause "serious or widespread offence". --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opium#Other_meanings [Feb 2006]

Yves Saint Laurent “trapeze” dress

Yves Saint Laurent, one of the leading traditional couturiers of the Sixties (he had taken over at the House of Dior after Dior’s death in 1957), was another couture designer who created more youthful, Mod-inspired clothes in the Sixties. He had made headlines with his first collection in 1958 when he introduced the “trapeze” dress. It was a flared dress, seen as the precursor of the Mod A-line dress, although it was as carefully constructed as other couture garments. However, some of Mary Quant’s early designs from 1955-56 were short a-line dresses. Saint Laurent started the Pop Art movement in couture fashions with his most famous design, the Mondrian dress. In 1965 Saint Laurent adapted Mondrian's Broadway Boogie Woogie painting to clothing to create a dress that was in keeping with the spirit of the times yet retained the exclusivity and high price tag of couture clothing. By 1966, his hemlines rose well above the knees, and when the nostalgic and oriental influences of the late Sixties came into vogue, he adopted elements of those styles as well. --modmiss

See also: fashion - 2000 - 1965

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