Monday, June 2, 2008

The Passing of a Fashion Legend

When I first moved to DC to attend university, I had an apartment overlooking Foggy Bottom, with a view of the Watergate and the Potomac River. There was a very small Safeway in the Watergate (nicknamed the "Soviet Safeway" because it sold almost nothing) and I would go there to buy the few things that I actually knew how to cook back then (pasta, eggs, cereal . . . )

Whenever I would go to Safeway, I would stop and admire the windows of the YSL boutique on the first floor of the Watergate. To me, living within steps of a haute couture boutique, in a major international city, made me feel like I was living a very stylish, international life - or at least that I had the potential to live such a life. Even though I mostly wore sweats to class and mostly ate pasta, living so close to the YSL boutique made me feel very adult and very excited about the future.

Yves Saint Laurent died last night in Paris at age 71. He was born in Algeria and came to Paris in the 50s. He joined the house of Dior and, within 3 years, took over the house after Dior's sudden death (he was only 22!). He was said to "design clothes that reflected women's changing role in society" and was said to be "the most influential designer in French couture in the last 50 years". He designed trouser suits for women, pop art dresses in the 70s and see-through gowns. In 1983, he became the first living fashion designer to be honored by New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art. His last show was in 2002, where he showcased pieces from many different eras of his design career.

I offer you a short pictorial tribute to a very fashionable man, who made women very fashionable for many decades. Cheers, Yves.

As a young designer in Paris.

Rockin' the safari look in the 70s.

With Catherine Deneuve, who would be one of his top muses.

Posing in the 70s.

With Karl Lagerfeld in the 70s (Yes, that really is Uncle Karl!). There was, supposedly, a great rivalry between the two. Read Style Bubble's review of the book that talks all about it here.


Alison Santighian said...

this might be trite, and not at all befitting the moment, but is it just me, or does the newest PR winner have the air of yves?

Anonymous said...

your post was a fab -YSL is a legend to be remembered for all time.

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