Yves Saint Laurent will always be remembered as an amazing designer, who revolutionized the way women dressed. He gave women the chance to wear anything they liked, especially a tuxedo, which at the time was only seen as a menswear. But in Saint Laurent’s vision it was not all about men. He was so innovative and his creations are still remembered nowadays.
Yves Saint Laurent was born on August 1, 1936 in Oran, Algeria. He left his home at the age of 17 to pursue a career in Paris. Some of his early drawings were published by Vogue magazine and after that he started a fashion school. He met Christian Dior and they became really good friends and collaborated several times together.
In 1962, Saint Laurent decided to open his own fashion label, which became very popular. In 1966, he launched the smoking suit, known as his legendary collection. The smoking suit became quite popular and it was seen as a sign of women empowerment by giving them courage and making them feel comfortable.
Besides the legendary smoking suit, Yves Saint Laurent’s most famous creations also include the sheer blouse and the jumpsuit. As soon as he started launching his own collections, women would do everything to obtain one of his creations. He gained so much popularity over the course of two decades.
He is known to be the first living designer to receive a solo exhibition in New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1983.
But Yves Saint Laurent had many ups and downs, especially in the 80s. He became addicted to alcohol and cocaine and he also struggled with depression and illnesses to the end of his life.
In the 90s it looked like people were getting annoyed to the grunge style which was so popular at the time. Such thing made many people turn their eyes again to Yves Saint Laurent’s creations which were more stylish and chic. In 1998 the designer presented his last ready-to-wear collection, while in 2002 he presented his last haute couture collection and then retired for good in Marrakech.
On June 1st 2008 the designer died from brain cancer in his house in Paris.
Yves Saint Laurent was made Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur by François Mitterrand on March 12, 1985. He was later made Officier and then Commandeur before being named Grand Officier de la Légion d’Honneur by President Nicolas Sarkozy in 2007.