Yves Saint Laurent: He Changed Women

YSL: Three letters representing a phenomenon in French haute couture and a profound influence in fashion since the 1960s. A genius with a remarkable breadth of vision, destined to revolutionize women’s clothes: Yves Saint Laurent.

Success at an Early Age

In 1954, the 17-year-old prodigy left Oran, his hometown in Algeria, for Paris. Three years later, he was introduced to Christian Dior who hired him on the spot after seeing his sketches. In a twist of fate, Yves Saint Laurent took over as head designer following Dior’s sudden death in 1957... He was only 21 years old.

From then on, his career was a resounding success. In 1962, Yves Saint Laurent opened his own fashion house in partnership with his Pygmalion, Pierre Bergé.

A Pied Piper of Fashion

Saint Laurent’s lifelong relationship with Pierre Bergé raised the haute couture designer to the status of icon. The power couple brought together creative genius and business acumen, becoming a force to be reckoned with.

YSL was often inspired by art and exotic places. Unafraid to reach beyond Haute Couture, he championed “style,” which is eternal and inherent, and set a template for style that is still followed today.

A Maverick

Early on in his career, Yves Saint Laurent introduced refined and theatrical aesthetics to the traditional post-war Parisian haute couture scene. Always finding the right note between functionality and elegance, he brought street fashion on the runway. His designs reflected the desires of the increasingly assertive woman of the 1960s.

In 1966, YSL opened Saint Laurent Rive Gauche. The luxury boutique offered lower-priced but exquisitely made ready-to-wear collections of basic clothing. He revolutionized fashion.

Creative Designs, Arts, and Exotic Places

Yves Saint Laurent’s unrestrained imagination found inspiration in his passion for arts and exotic far-off lands —Morocco, India, China, Spain, Russia, Turkey.

The clothes spoke eloquently of the designer’s timeless sense of style and huge influence on fashion. His legacy includes famous pieces such as Mondrian-inspired dresses, an Iris cardigan in homage to Van Gogh, and the safari and exotic peasant looks that YSL made famous. A 1966’s sheer blouse Topless Habillé, Le Smoking tuxedo jacket and its lightly modified 2002 version, Vintage clothes blended seamlessly with new: hallmarks of the legendary success.

A towering figure of the 20th century fashion, Yves Saint Laurent passed away in Paris, in 2008. The Master reworked the rules of fashion. He bestowed a mix of power and femininity on modern women, forever transforming their wardrobe.

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[HISTOIRE / HISTORY] English translation below — 🇫🇷 Plus de 200 personnes dévouées et fidèles telle une grande famille, ont travaillé avec enthousiasme avec Yves Saint Laurent sur chaque collection. Le cœur de la maison était le studio, situé au premier étage. Yves Saint Laurent y a travaillé avec une équipe de six à sept collaborateurs, dont Anne-Marie Muñoz, Loulou de La Falaise et plusieurs assistantes dans un espace lumineux et discret. Les ateliers se répartissaient en deux types, le "flou" chargé de créer des vêtements fluides comme des robes et des chemisiers, et le "tailleur" chargé de créer des pièces plus structurées comme des costumes ou des smokings, en plus des ateliers "chapeau" et "chaussure". — 🇬🇧 More than 200 people worked enthusiastically together with Yves Saint Laurent, with as much dedication and loyalty as an extended family, on each collection. The heart of the house, the Studio, was located on the first floor. There Yves Saint Laurent worked with a team of six or seven collaborators, including Anne-Marie Muñoz, Loulou de La Falaise and several assistants in a bright understated space. The workshops were divided between "flou" charged with creating fluid garments like dresses and blouses, and "tailoring" charged with creating more structured pieces like suits and tuxedos, in addition to "hat" workshop and a "shoe" workshop. — Yves Saint Laurent, Pierre Bergé et Anne-Marie Muñoz au Studio de la Maison de couture, 5 avenue Marceau, 1977 © Photo Guy Marineau — @myslmarrakech #behindthescene #workshop #work #atelier #team #teamwork #history #yvessaintlaurent #annemariemunoz #louloudelafalaise #paris #fashion #hautecouture #museeyslparis #museeysl #myslmarrakech #myslm #marrakech #morocco #fondationjardinmajorelle

Une publication partagée par Musée Yves Saint Laurent Paris (@museeyslparis) le

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