Monday, June 2, 2008

Farewell Yves St. Laurent

As he retired, he said: "I have known fear and the terrors of solitude. I have known those fair-weather friends we call tranquilizers and drugs. I have known the prison of depression and the confinement of hospital. But one day, I was able to come through all of that, dazzled yet sober."

Algerian born, Yves had many properties
in Marrakesh, including Jardins Majorelle

The 1970's

More recent photo, before he retired
with friend and muse Catherine Deneuve

In his studio with muse, friend,
and design assistant Loulou de la Falaise

One of the first couture designers to bring
high fashion to the masses:
Opium & Paris perfume; tuxedos for women; safari look;
rich peasant look; color block dresses-the Mondrian dress;
lately the Muse bag, and so much more...

Wearing the Safari look himself in the 60's
He created the idea of unisex dressing

At work with a friend

Boy genius

It was the sexual revolution

Yves Saint Laurent, who exploded on the fashion scene in 1958 as the boy-wonder successor to Christian Dior and endured as one of the best-known and most influential couturiers of the second half of the 20th century, died on Sunday at his apartment in Paris. He was 71. HERE
Are any three letters as elegant as YSL? When he was seventeen, Yves Saint Laurent began working for Dior, who referred to him as his dauphin. When Dior died suddenly four years later, Saint Laurent was made head of the fashion house but soon after was conscripted to serve in the Algerian war. Hazed by his rougher fellow soldiers, the fragile couture artiste lasted twenty days before he had a nervous breakdown. The army tried to cure him with electroshock therapy. When he returned to Dior, he found he had been replaced. He started his own house, giving rise to some of the most famous clothes in history: the Mondrian dress, "le Smoking," the tuxedo for women, the designer leather jacket, the sheath dress, the gold cape. For nearly twenty years he and his business manager Pierre Berge were lovers, and, because they are French, after they broke up they continued living together for another ten years. In 1983, Saint Laurent became the first living designer to be honored by the Metropolitan Museum of Art with a retrospective. In 1993, he and Berge sold the company for $600 million. Since his retirement in 2002, Saint Laurent has spent much of his time in Marrakesh, where he restored and opened to the public the vivid gardens originally designed by French expat Jacques Majorelle. From Band of Thebes:Fashion HERE
If you would like to see more terrific photos, go HERE

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