Yves Saint Laurent – A life for fashion


Yves Saint Laurent was one of the most influential and innovative fashion designers of the 20th century. He revolutionized women’s fashion with his androgynous and elegant creations, which are still considered icons of haute couture. He was also a pioneer of prêt-à-porter fashion, which he understood as a democratic art form. His life was marked by passion, genius and tragedy.

Yves Saint Laurent was born on August 1, 1936 in Oran, Algeria. He was the son of a wealthy insurance manager and an elegant mother who inspired him to pursue fashion. As a child, he drew clothes for his dolls and his sisters. He was a sensitive and introverted boy who was often teased and retreated into his fantasy world.

At 17, he went to Paris to study fashion design. He won a prestigious competition held by Vogue magazine and was discovered by Christian Dior, who hired him as his assistant. After Dior’s death in 1957, he became Dior’s chief designer at the age of only 21. He created the famous “trapeze line”, which replaced the tight corset look of the 50s and gave women more freedom of movement.

In 1958 he met Pierre Bergé, who became his partner and business partner. The two founded their own fashion house Yves Saint Laurent in Paris in 1961. There Yves Saint Laurent designed collections that changed the fashion world. He invented the tuxedo for women, the safari look, the Mondrian dress, the Le tuxedo, the caftan and many other styles that exuded elegance, comfort and modernity. He drew inspiration from art, literature, music and different cultures. He was also one of the first designers to bring black models to the catwalk.

However, Yves Saint Laurent was not only a brilliant fashion designer, but also a torn person. He suffered from depression, anxiety and drug addiction. He had several nervous breakdowns and had to seek treatment in clinics several times. He was also plagued by self-doubt and was afraid of aging and losing his creativity.

In 2002, he retired from fashion and said goodbye with a spectacular show at the Centre Pompidou in Paris. He died of a brain tumor on June 1, 2008, at the age of 71. He left an incomparable legacy in the history of fashion and culture.

Yves Saint Laurent once said, “Fashion is fleeting, style remains.” His style remains forever in our hearts and in our closets.

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