Sunday, June 1, 2008

BREAKING NEWS: The Death of Yves St. Laurent

Earlier this evening, the legendary fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent died at age 71 after a long illness.

This talented but fragile fashion giant was known for revolutionizing the way women dress. He introduced the Mondrian dress in 1965, the smoking tuxedo in 1966, the safari look in 1968 and the classic trouser suit in 1978. He once said that he felt "fashion was not only supposed to make women beautiful, but to reassure them, to give them confidence, to allow them to come to terms with themselves."

Yves Saint Laurent was born on August 1, 1936 in Algeria and attended only three months of fashion training at the Chambre Syndicale before being hired on the spot by Christian Dior at age 17. At the tender age of 21, Yves was named head designer of the House of Dior following Dior's untimely death. The trapeze line, YSL's first collection for Dior in 1957, was heralded as a huge success. The next few years were also acclaimed but in 1960, he introduced street wear into couture and YSL was fired. He was then drafted into military service and was left in a fragile state. In 1962, he opened his own house with his partner Pierre Berge. Life Magazine declared his first line under his own label as "the best collection of suits since Chanel". YSL retired at age 65 in 2002. Time after time in his forty-five years as a fashion designer, his collections revolutionized fashion.

"His gift to fashion was that he empowered women after Chanel had freed them."
Pierre Berge, partner to Yves Saint Laurent