Over the weekend, the fashion world celebrated, reminisced and mourned the life and career of the great fashion couturier Yves Saint Laurent. June 1st, marked precisely ten years since the death of the designer, although he did retire in 2002. The brand has been consistent in keeping his legacy alive by opening to the public the Majorelle Garden, home of the designer himself in Morocco and last October the opening of Yves Saint Laurent Museum in Marrakech.
Known for his Mondrian dress in 1965, for being a jet-setter and a regular of Studio 54 in New York Saint Laurent was a force to be reckoned with. He’s famously known for spending time in his lavish home in Marrakech, the city where the designers would continuously go for inspiration; but Saint Laurent was also a designer who broke barriers, and inspired his peers to do things differently. He took the fashion world from haute couture to ready to wear, by launching in the mid-sixties a full pret-a-porter line. He was the first French couturier to ever do so. Although he was criticized at the time, it soon became clear that secondary lines were more profitable than the couture line, and soon enough Saint Laurent found himself designing two haute couture collections and two ready-to-wear collections per year, something that was unusual at the time.
In memory of the first living designer to ever get a solo exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1983, the designer who was able to turn fashion into art, and the first to ever feature a black model on the runway, here are the 5 looks he will forever be remembered for:The Mondrian Dress 1965
The A-Line wool jersey dress is one of Saint Laurent most iconic pieces. The designer paid homage to several modernistic artists and was able to convert 2D painting in 3D. This dress was on the September cover of French Vogue, the year it was made.The Knitted Wedding Dress
Inspired by Russian matryoshka nesting dolls, the unforgettable cocoon bride by Yves Saint Laurent was the runway look that closed the Mondrian collection show.Le Smoking 1967
The Low cut tuxedo that had many variations over the years will always be associated with Saint Laurent style. It was empowering then and still a trend today as we’ve noticed with all the power-suits making a comeback this season. It is as iconic as the image of Bianca Jagger walking her son, in a full white YSL suit.The Beaded Body-Dress
Leaving almost nothing to the imagination, this 60’s dress would undoubtedly be attributed to today’s body-dress. The French couturier was known to be fascinated by Africa, and Safari rides hints his time in Morocco and our following most memorable look. The beaded body dress is an excellent example of Saint Laurent craftsmanship and talent, he was able to transform something that was seen as tribal and ethnic at the time into Parisian chicness. The Safari Jacket
Inspired by men uniforms worn in Africa, Saint Laurent was able to put his stamp on a very simple garment. He borrowed elements from men’s jackets and instead of making slight modifications, he instead made it into a gabardine jacket of cotton gabardine that was perfect for hot summer days.
By Anne-Isabelle Saint-Pierre