Thursday, April 15, 2010

YSL & Le Smoking

by Ariane Ankacrona

YSL with his muses. Betty Catroux on the right and Loulou de la Falaise on the left.

The name Yves Saint Laurent conjures up both a highly successful star brand and an incredibly talented designer with a powerful social presence. It was his talent that led him to success at an early age but his later glamorous life and beautiful entourage that helped shape the image of the brand. Saint Laurent had an acute awareness of the atmosphere and desires of the time he was designing in and this gave him his elevated and successful position in the fashion world. Although his designs instantly became the fashion of the day, Saint Laurent himself was more interested in the lasting style of his creations.

Iconic 1975 photo of Le Smoking shot by Helmut Newton

Testament to this fact is the re-occurring appearances and interpretations of many of his original designs throughout the last fifty years; his female tuxedo, ‘le smoking’ is one of his most powerful creations. The 1960s was the decade in which Saint Laurent really flourished. This time period coupled with his endless talent and glittering social circle enabled Saint Laurent to become one of the most powerful and influential designers in the world.

YSL's last show, 2002 at Centre Pompidou. Final bow taken with models old and new, all in Le Smoking.


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