Yves Saint Laurent is one of the top French designers in the 20th century. In 1957, after the passing away of Christian Dior, the founder of the world-famous fashion brand, Saint Laurent became Christian Dior’s chief designer at only 21. In the early 1960s, he established his own company and after 40 years of tireless efforts, his fashion brand YSL has matured into one of the most world-renowned brands. On August 1 this year, we will be celebrating the 75th anniversary of the birth of this fashion master and let’s pay tribute to him by reviewing the fashion empire he has created!
Yves Saint Laurent won a design competition at 18 with a black cocktail dress in asymmetrical design and thus attracted attention from the Vogue chief editor who invited him to be a designer for the magazine. At 19, Saint Laurent entered Christian Dior successfully. On October 24, 1957, after Mr. Dior’s death, 21-year-old Saint Laurent held the press conference for the launch of the next season featured with knee-high bow couture in black fur and satin, which made his a reputation that was grand that people called him the Christian Dior Second. Because of this success, he became the chief designer for Christian Dior when he was only 21.
In 1961, Saint Laurent left Dior and founded the SYL Company. In the following days, Saint Laurent showed his rebellious spirit with his designs that were not only avant-garde but also shockingly sensational with the fabulous inventions such as flared trousers, pullover sweaters, sleeveless T-shirts, hippie suits, long boots, neutral costumes, see through clothes and so on.
The unconventional and creative designs of Saint Laurent shocked the upper society and let those young people who loved freedom – whether civilians or upper class members and even the anti-government students become his supporting fans and loyal customers. In the meantime, Saint Laurent kept developing his works using the approaches of finished couture and product series. Many of his designs are deeply influenced by the classic works of art. In many works Saint Laurent’s in the 1970s and 1980s, people may be reminded of the works from the art masters such as Monte Lyon, Picasso and Van Gogh.
On January 22, 2002, Yves Saint Laurent held his last haute couture show in Pompidou Cultural Centre of Paris and announced his retirement. In his farewell speech, Yves Saint Laurent said, “Today I will leave my beloved fashion industry. I am very proud to see today’s women still wearing suits, tuxedoes, Peacoat and trench coat and I feel that I have created modern women’s wardrobe from all aspects.”