Wednesday, June 11

Yves Saint Laurent (1936-2008)

"The King of Fashion"

The Past and the Present
Fashion Designer Yves Saint Laurent was born 1936 in Oran, Algeria. After winning first prize in the International Wool Secretariat contest for his asymetrical cocktail dress in 1954, Saint Laurent went immediately to work for Christian Dior. Saint Laurent became Haute Couture designer when Dior died in 1957. He introduced the trapeze dress in his first collection for Dior in 1958. He was replaced by Mark Bohen in 1960, when he fulfilled his military obligations. Afterwards, he opened his own couture house, financed by Pierre Berge, in 1962.

The Rive Gauche boutiques for women were established in 1966, and men's wear was added in 1974. His CEO is still Pierre Berge, volatile critic of the Chambre Syndicale. His muse has been Catherine Deneuve for many years.

Saint Laurent frequently uses ethnic themes in his garments, as well as bright colors contrasted with black. His day clothes have a slightly masculine flavor, and his luxurious evening wear is tinged with fantasy. He is famous for "Le Smoking" tuxedo jacket, see-through blouses (1968), peasant blouses, bolero jackets, pantsuits, and smocks.

Although a shy person, Saint Laurent believes he is the last true couturier. He maintains the highest standards of classic cut and tailoring, and he receives a standing ovation after every collection is presented.

1996 marks two surprising developments concerning the presentation of his new collections. In Summer of 1996, Saint Laurent was the first courturier to show his Haute Couture show live on the Internet. The other move was the decision to stop making big fashion shows for his Pret-a-Porter collection after 30 years of doing so. He now shows his new models only to a few selected journalists on appoitment basis.

Pierre Berge was sentenced to a 1 million Francs (about $197000) fine for insider-trading in 1996. In 1992, he sold Yves Saint Laurent shares right before alarming economic figueres about the company were published.

Yves Saint Laurent is a member of the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture et du Pret-a-Porter.

Here's his lates Fall Runway show another twist to the :Catwalk"

"Casual Cal"