The name of Yves Saint Laurent, one of the great fashion designers of the twentieth century, evokes the now-iconic looks he helped popularize as part of the modern woman’s wardrobe: the Le Smoking tuxedo jacket, the pea coat, the Mondrian dress, the jumpsuit. But seven years after Saint Laurent’s death, the man himself remains an enigma and a source of fascination (two Yves Saint Laurent biopics were released in 2014). In Yves Saint Laurent’s Studio: Mirror and Secrets, the first book to be published by the Fondation Pierre Berge with Yves Saint Laurent, fashion historian Jeromine Savignon invites the reader into the designer’s studio, revealing Saint Laurent’s approach to fashion and design. Illustrated with more than 40 previously unpublished photographs, this volume offers a fresh, behind-the-scenes glimpse at the work of this iconic fashion designer.
A precocious talent, Yves Saint Laurent (1936-2008) started work at the venerable fashion house of Christian Dior at the age of 18. He started his own design house in 1961 with his partner Pierre Berge. Saint Laurent was one of the first designers to hire nonwhite models, and the first to lend his name to a ready-to-wear line while maintaining his haute couture business. He became the first designer to be honored with a Costume Institute retrospective at The Metropolitan Museum of Art during his lifetime, with a 1983 show organized by Diana Vreeland, who called him the “Pied Piper of fashion,” because “whatever he does, women of all ages, from all over the world, follow.”