Yves Saint Laurent: l’enfant prodige

Yves Saint Laurent: l’enfant prodige

YVES SAINT LAURENT FRANCE 1986  ©Pierre Olivier DESCHAMPS/ Agence VU

60 years of revolution, this is the story about a special man, a visionary designer who gave a new language to the world of fashion. 

Yves Saint Laurent was born in 1936 in Algeria. From the beginning he has had a very special attitude to fashion. As matter of fact, when he was 18 he moved to Paris and started to work to Christian Dior Maison. 
It was 1957 when one of the most important couturier passed away. He was Monsieur Christian Dior and this was the moment of the revolution. To guide his maison was chosen Yves Saint Laurent.

Like Chanel, Saint Laurent has created a unique style, for decades it has been a symbol of the most refined, modern and innovative elegance.

He was the first, in the 1960s, to understand that high fashion could draw inspiration from the street and not be just a self-referential reality, a world closed in on itself with no relationship with reality.

The 1958 collection created a sensation with which he made his debut, when, successor to Christian Dior, he presented in the elegant halls of Avenue Montaigne, a gritty and irreverent silhouette, very little politically correct for the sartorial conformism of the time.

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We could already sense the heterodox spirit of this new designer, who, throughout his career, has kept the promise of that time, becoming a constant innovator, a modernizer of the female image. He did everything or almost everything before the others. 

His, decades before Giorgio Armani, was the intuition to transfer some items of the male wardrobe to the female one: the blazer, the Saharan, the trench coat, the leather jacket, the trouser suit, his explosive charge of vitality combined with a devouring passion for art that made him pay whimsical tributes to the masters of twentieth-century painting, from Picasso to Andy Warhol, from Matisse, to Braque, from Mondrian to David Hockney, and especially Van Gogh when the pairing art-fashion was not yet a foregone conclusion, a commonplace on the “cultured” catwalk.

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Beyond a multifaceted creativity, Saint Laurent also had brilliant commercial intuitions, such as having understood, once again in advance of his colleagues, that the so modern ideas of his high fashion could, wisely corrected, be transformed into an industrial product.

I want to give haute couture a kind of wink, a sense of humour – to introduce the whole sense of freedom one sees in the street into high fashion; to give couture the same provocative and arrogant look as punk – but, of course, with luxury and dignity and style.

Yves Saint Laurent

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