In Memory of Yves Saint-Laurent
Yves Saint-Laurent, the last great French Coutourier has died today from brain cancer at the age of 71. Yves Saint Laurent was a significant figure in fashion history, a revolutionary in his designs as well as the social and cultural significance his fashion had.
His achievements are too many to mention, but here are just a few examples of how Monssieur Saint Laurent has changed the world:
- At the tender age of 21 he saved the house of Dior from financial ruin (that was after the death of Christian Dior).
- YSL invented the first tuxedo suit for women - Le Smoking
- YSL was the first to have black models in his fashion shows
- YSL was the first living designer to be honoured by the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art, and many credit him for raising fashion design to the level of an art form (or at least make the public think about fashion that way).
You can click here to read the global tribute to YSL and get a sense of the loss his death caused. A few examples of his influence are reflected in the following quotes:
"Chanel gave women freedom (in the 1920s and 1930s). Yves gave them power ... he was a libertarian, an anarchist who threw bombs at the legs of society." (Pierre Bergé, YSL's lifetime business partner and former lover)
"One of the great names of fashion, the first man to elevate haute couture to an art form." (French President Nicolas Sarkozy)
"Creative genius who changed the world of fashion forever". (Tommy Hilfiger)
As far as perfumes go, YSL has released several perfumes of great significance in perfume history, most notably Opium, Yvresse and Rive Gauche; and has an outstanding collection of daring fragrances for men, including Kouros, Live Jazz and M7.
This evening I was wearing M7 in his honour, and I know many other perfumistas around the world were wearing YSL perfumes to show their respect to this great coutourier who seem to have passed away so soon. In the coming week, we will dedicate each day to review a perfume from this house, to hounour the life and creations of Yves Saint Laurent and say farewell. My brother Noam will join me in reviewing the men's fragrances.