We pay tribute to Yves Saint Laurent on the 10th anniversary of his passing with ten facts and photos from our archive.
10 years ago today the world lost one its most celebrated fashion designers. Yves Saint Laurent is regarded as one of the most avant-garde couturiers and is also credited with elevating the reputation of ready-to-wear clothing. Though he achieved momentous fame for his designs, his creativity was haunted by mental illness and addiction.
In this piece we’ll take a look at images of the designer’s career, along with interesting facts about his life.
Saint Laurent moved to Paris from Algeria when he was 17. A year later, the drawing below won him a design contest and got Yves noticed by Christian Dior, who hired him as his assistant.
Christian Dior died in 1957 and YSL was named Dior’s chief stylist, at the age of 21.
In 1960, Yves, who was homosexual and bullied in his youth for being effeminate, was called up for French military service. He suffered a nervous breakdown and, by the time he recovered, he had been sacked by Dior.
With the financial help of his friend Pierre Bergé, Saint Laurent set up his own fashion, perfumes, and accessories business, and became known for his forward-thinking styles.
Yves’ creations mixed elements of male and female fashion and included designs such as the Le Smoking tux suit for women. Bianca Jagger wore it to her wedding to Mick Jagger in 1971.
YSL’s design muse was French actress Catherine Deneuve, who starred in films such as Francois Truffaut’s The Last Metro and Roman Polanski’s Repulsion.
In 1983, Yves was honored by the Metropolitan Museum of Art with his own solo exhibition. He was the first living person to be given the honor.
Saint Laurent suffered from severe depression and battled with bipolar disorder and drug abuse. He was rushed to a hospital in 1990, feeling intense fatigue.
Yves died from brain cancer in 2008. His ashes were scattered in the Majorelle Garden in Marrakech, Morocco, a residence and botanical garden Yves had owned with Pierre Bergé since the 1980s. The garden is open to the public today.
Yves was also known for his quotes, one of his most famous being: “Fashions fade, style is eternal.”
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