“To be beautiful, all a woman needs is a black pullover and a black skirt and to be arm in arm with a man she loves.” Yves Saint Laurent
The fashion world is mourning the death of one of the most prolific fashion designers of our time; Yves Saint Laurent died today at the age of 71.
Born in 1936, Yves Saint Laurent began his fashion career at the age of 17 working for Christian Dior, on Dior’s death in 1957 it was upon young Yves at the age of 21 to save the Dior house. A stint in the French army during the Algerian War of Independence led to Yves being institutionalised forced to undergo psychiatric treatment, including electroshock therapy.
On return from his military duty Yves discovered that Dior had in fact replaced him with Marc Bohan as head designer, Yves then proceeded to start his own label YSL with partner Pierre Berge. In 1966 he designed perhaps his most classic piece, the Le Smoking tuxedo followed by the safari jacket in 1968, another iconic piece of fashion that is today still worn.
Struggling with ill health, depression and drugs, Yves Saint Laurent eventually relinquished his head designer post at YSL in 2002.
Yves Saint Laurent was a true pioneer of fashion, opting to shock his audiences with the use of short hemlines, sheer fabrics and flamboyant designs; YSL was the first house to open a ready to wear collection retailer, it was the first fashion house to go public by putting the shares on the stock market, Yves himself has been immortalised by in art by Andy Warhol and he had Catherine Deneuve as a muse; he launched a thousand trends and constantly pushed the boundaries of fashion. Yves Saint Laurent we will mourn you.