Monday, August 12, 2013

Yves Saint Laurent

   I am no longer concerned with sensation and innovation, but with the perfection of my style. - Yves Saint Laurent

   I was asked some time ago if I were to name my favourite designer, who would that be? I took few seconds and I decided: Yves Saint Laurent forever.

   Yves Henri Donat Mathieu- Saint- Laurent was born on the 1st of August, 1936, in Algeria. He began designing dresses in his teen years for his two sisters, after his childhood, when he would play with paper dolls for whom he would make paper clothing.

   At 18 he moved to Paris and he entered the Chambre Syndicate de la Couture. Michel De Brunhoff, the French Vogue editor, introduced him to Christian DIOR, for whom he work( he would first decorate his studio and then he would design accessories).

   Dior fascinated me[...] He taught me the basis of my art. Whatever was to happen next, I never forgot the years I spent at his side." - Y.S.L. about Christian Dior

   In 1953 he entered the International Wool Secretariat competition and won the first place, beating his friend, Fernando Sanchez and a young German student( Karl Lagerfeld).

   At age 21 he was the head designer of the House of Christian Dior and he saved the company from ruin by introducing the " trapeze dress"( he is also the first to use the tuxedo in women's fashion).

   We must never confuse elegance with snobbery. - Y.S.L.

   In 1960 he was forced to enrole in the French Army during the Algerian War of Independence.

   He died of brain cancer on the 1st of June, 2008,in Paris; he was incinerated and his ash was sattered in the Majorelle Garden( Marrakech, Morocco), a place of refuge and great inspiration for him.

   Did you know that...?

- He was a collector of paintings and sculptures? ( Picasso, ancient Egyptian sculps)
- He was a great admirer of Marcel Proust?
- He was the first living designer to have a solo exhibition in the Metropolitan Museum of Art?

   Y.S.L. models:

   A good model can advance fashion by ten years. - Y.S.L.

- Iman ( his " dream woman", his muse)
- Loulou de la Falaise
- Betty Catroux
- Talitha Pol-Getty
- Katoucha Niane
- Rebecca Ayoko
- Nicole Dornier( first Y.S.L. model, then his assistant)
- Laetitia Casta( bride in his shows from 1997 to 2002)

   Fashions fade, style is eternal. - Y.S.L.