Another aspect of fashion I like besides styling is the history of fashion (haha!). But really, I think it’s interesting to read about how some brands came about, how the amazing designers influenced the fashion of today etc.
With that said, I added a new section on my blog, “Fashion Titbits”; and that’s where you go for all the not-so-random fashion and style facts! First up, of course I’m going to talk about one of my favourite designers of all time, Yves Saint Laurent. Although I’ll probably NEVER EVER be able to afford the clothes *bitter laughs*, it never hurts to get inspired by the styles he introduced. After all…
“Fashion fades, style is eternal”- Yves Saint Laurent
1. At 18, Yves Saint Laurent was hired by Christian Dior himself into the House of Dior
Before YSL created his own brand, he was working for the House of Dior. As a young designer, his designs caught the attention of editor-in-chief of French Vogue, Michel De Brunhoff. De Brunhoff found several similarities in YSL original sketches compared to Christian Dior’s design and sent him to Dior, where he was hired on the spot.
2. He became the head designer for Dior at the age of 21.
Before Dior passed away in 1957, he met YSL’s mother and told her about that he had chosen Saint Laurent to succeed him as designer for the brand. However, he got dismissed from the House of Dior 3 years later as his designs from Fall’58 onwards got savaged by the media and the owner of the House of Dior (Marcel Boussac) decided to get him replaced.
3. The “Trapeze Dress”
For his first successful collection as the head designer for Dior, YSL created the Trapeze Dress silhouette, which is the softer version of Dior’s “New Look”. This collection put him in the international spotlight; and he hence changed his name to just ” Saint Laurent” because international press found his name hard to spell (Yves Henri Donat Mathieu-Saint-Laurent).
4. Saint Laurent Sued Dior before establishing Yves Saint Laurent
Of course he won the lawsuit as Dior had breached the contract for dismissing him unfairly. I love Dior too but If Saint Laurent haven’t left Dior, he probably wouldn’t have the freedom and luxury to come up with so many original and fresh designs. After all, this great man “changed the way how modern women dresses”.
Together with his business partner and lover, Pierre Berge, they open his own fashion house Yves Saint Laurent in 1961.
5. YSL popularised Beatnik & Safari jackets
Besides the Trapeze silhouette, YSL was responsible for several iconic fashion styles that are still trending today.
6. Le Smoking for women
For all you ladies out there who love mannish style and sharp suits, we have Saint Laurent to thank for this. One of his most famous styles ever, he set the trend of Le Smoking, evening pantsuit for women that mimic men’s tuxedo. And of course this pioneered the minimalist and androgynous style for women, and the use of power suits and pant suits in modern society.
7. Saint Laurent is the first French couturier to launch a Ready-to-wear line (Prêt-à-porter)
Before 1960s, most designer houses only have the Haute Couture line. Although it was rumoured that other Haute Couture houses such as Chanel and Dior intended to launch RTW lines as well, YSL is unarguably the FIRST Haute Couture house to launch their RTW line first.
8. Mondrian Shift and Bolero Jacket
In case you’re wondering where did the idea of Shift dresses and Cropped jackets came from… Yeap they’re the brain child of Saint Laurent too.
Honestly there are so much you can talk about the late Saint Laurent, he left a legacy revolutionised the fashion industry, he literally designed clothes to empower women; that’s why he is my favourite. But I didn’t want to bore you guys with too much history, so the most important things you need to know are the iconic silhouettes that this man created. Remember..
‘The hardest thing in fashion is not to be known for a logo, but to be known for a silhouette.’ Giambattista Valli
Who’s your favourite designer? Tell me by commenting below!