Yves Saint Laurent

Yves Saint Laurent was born on 1st August 1936 and died on 1st June 2008. He became one of the most successful and world renowned fashion designers ever and is considered by many to be the greatest French fashion designer in the 20th century.

He was born in Oran, in French Algeria, and he eventually left there for Paris, after finishing secondary school, in order to pursue a career in the fashion business. Then, amazingly, at 17, he was hired as Christian Dior’s assistant and when Dior died four years later, he was named head of the House of Dior.His Spring 1958 collection almost certainly saved the House of Dior from financial ruin. The revolutionary straight line of his creations, a softer version of Dior’s New Look, catapulted him to international stardom with what would later be known as the ‘trapeze dress’, which included dresses with a narrow shoulder and flaring gently at the
bottom.

In 1960, Saint Laurent left Dior, and after a period of legal wranglings and a severe illness and a period of convalescence, he started his own fashion house in 1962. During the 1960s and 1970s, the Saint Laurent brand popularized such fashion trends as the beatnik took, safari jackets for men and women, tight pants and tall,
thigh-high boots, including the creation of arguably the most famous classic tuxedo suit for women, the Le Smoking suit.

Yves Saint Laurent quickly emerged as one of the world’s most influential designers. He now takes the credit for many innovations in fashion design, such as sheer clothing, the le smoking suit, peasant-inspired designs, the safari suits and pussy-bow blouses. He was also one of the first couturiers to embrace ready-to-wear fashion, launching several Rive Gauche shops in the late sixties. He is considered to be the main single driving influence behind finally bringing the idea of ready-to-wear fashions as acceptable and even admirable and desirable.

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