This weekend, I managed to slip away from working at Wishlist long enough to finally see the much lauded Yves Saint Laurent Retrospective at the Denver Art Museum. The collection was as exquisitely heartbreaking as I’d anticipated. There were moments when the beauty was so great, the tears welled in my eyes. Each garment, each collection, was a sartorial reminder that greatness requires rigor, dedication and tireless hard work and passion.
Monsieur Saint Laurent was a true master of the craft of haute couture. He was a ground breaking designer who looked to Africa for inspiration, who broke the color barrier by using black models in his shows, who looked to the street for his inspiration, and who valued and respected everyday people as much as the heiresses and millionaires who coveted and collected his designs.
In honor of the legend that is Monsieur Yves Saint Laurent, here is a collection of shots from his life, his ads, and his haute couture and Rive Gauche shows. You may recognize some of the pieces that are pictured here from the DAM’s retrospective. Isn’t it lovely to see them on the human form, moving and filled with life– just as he preferred?
M. Saint Laurent passed away in 2008 but through the rigor and exquisite beauty of his work, he ranks amongst the immortals. He was an enigma and an inspiration. I am honored to have been in the same room as so many of the works of this true master of the art of high fashion.
Yves Saint Laurent at Dior, late 50s/ early 60s
models in Yves Saint Laurent, mid 1960s
Twiggy models Saint Laurent's groundbreaking African Collection, 1967
Yves Saint Laurent's African Collection, 1967
An example of Saint Laurent's trademark "Le Smoking" tuxedo line for women, as shot by Helmut Newton, 1975.
Iconic Pop Art inspired dress, 1966
Yves Saint Laurent dress shot by David Bailey, French Vogue 1967
Veruschka models Yves Saint Laurent's Safari Collection, 1968
M. Saint Laurent in Marrakech
The "scandalous" 1971 F/W Collection, which harkened back to the Nazi Occupation of France during WWII and caused a furor for its references to a difficult time and "street" fashion.
Anjelica Huston for Yves Saint Laurent, F/W 1972
Yves Saint Laurent's Russian Collection, 1976
Carla Bruni models an Yves Saint Laurent dress inspired by artist Georges Braque
Model in an Yves Saint Laurent dress inspired by painter Georges Braque, 1988
Photographer David Seidner for Yves Saint Laurent, 1983
Yves Saint Laurent and models at the end of an 80s fashion show. Saint Laurent famously broke the color barrier by using women of all ethnicities as models and muses.
Monsieur Yves Saint Laurent August 1 1936- June 1 2008