Fashion Icons: Yves Saint Laurent

06 Jul

RDA / Getty ImagesSaint-Laurent uses chalk to sketch fashion  designs on a chalkboard in the atelier of the House of Christian Dior in Paris  in 1957

Coco Chanel gave women the little black dress, and Yves Saint Laurent gave  them the option of leaving it at home. In 1966 he shocked the world with Le  Smoking, a tuxedo smoking jacket for women that carried a whiff of androgyny.  Variations of the piece became a staple of his collection and ultimately paved  the way for pantsuits and female power dressing. His trailblazing didn’t end there. Throughout the ’60s and ’70s, he  popularized the beatnik look, safari jackets and thigh-high boots, and became  the first designer to use ethnic models in his runway shows. That inclusivity  reflected his desire to democratize fashion: he was the first French couturier  to sell a ready-to-wear collection, lending off-the-peg a much-needed dose of  credibility.



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Posted by on July 6, 2013 in Fashion Icons


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