Lifestyle Awards 2013
Wellness & Relationship
Five things you didn't know about Yves Saint Laurent
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Posted By: Pratiksha Rao
The late designer Yves Saint Laurent is famous for his several contributions to the world of fashion. Today, on his birthday we share the top five things that you probably didn't know about him:
1. Yves Henri-Donat Matthieu-Saint Laurent was born in French occupied Algeria and moved to Paris in his late teens. In 1953, he won a fashion design contest organized by the International Wool Secretariat and Christian Dior was so impressed by his winning designs that he hired young Saint Laurent on the spot. After Dior’s sudden death, Saint Laurent was appointed Head Designer of the House of Dior at the young age of 21.
2. Yves Saint Laurent was the first French designer to create prêt-à-porter line, Rive Gauche, to democratize fashion and make it easily available to more people. He was also the first designer to use ethnic models in his shows.
3. Two of Saint Laurent’s greatest contributions to women’s wear are the "trapeze dress" and "Le Smoking". The trapeze dress was a part of Saint Laurent’s first collection as head designer of Dior. The dress debuted in the 1958 Dior Spring Collection and sprung him immediately to international fame. The dress had fitted shoulders and flared outwards from below the shoulders giving it a softer look.
"Le Smoking" was the first classic tuxedo suit for women and was introduced in 1966. With the tuxedo suit for women, Saint Laurent pioneered the androgynous minimalist look, which became increasingly popular. Saint Laurent is credited with empowering woman by giving them sartorial options which were earlier exclusive to men.
4. In 1971 Saint Laurent appeared in an advertisement for a men’s cologne from his line. This ad shocked the fashion world as he had posed naked with his legs modestly crossed in the front. Another highly accomplished designer, Tom Ford, paid homage to this vintage ad during his tenure at YSL, by making a male model pose full frontal for the M7 Men’s Fragrance.
5. In 1983, Saint Laurent became the first living fashion designer to be honored by the Metropolitan Museum of Art with a solo exhibition. He passed away on June 1, 2008 of brain cancer. His partner, Pierre Bergé, in collaboration with Christie’s, organized a grand auction of 733 items that Saint Laurent and Bergé had been collecting since the 1950s. The auction comprised a large range of items ranging from Picasso paintings to Chinese zodiac sculptures. The proceeds of the auction were said to be used for the creation of a new AIDS research foundation.
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