Saint Laurent, Yves


Saint Laurent, Yves
▪ 2009
Yves-Henri-Donat-Mathieu Saint Laurent  
      French fashion designer

born Aug. 1, 1936, Oran, Alg.

died June 1, 2008, Paris, France
was regarded as one of the most influential designers in Paris and was especially noted for his popularization of women's trousers for all occasions. After completing his secondary education in Oran, Alg., Saint Laurent left for Paris to pursue a career in designing theatrical costumes and women's fashions. When a Vogue magazine executive showed Christian Dior some sketches by Saint Laurent, then aged 17, he was hired immediately as Dior's assistant. As Dior's protégé, the 21-year-old Saint Laurent was named the head of the House of Dior at Dior's death in 1957. Following the “little-girl” look and the A-line silhouette, he introduced more sophisticated, longer skirts and, in 1959, drastically shortened skirts. In 1960 he introduced the chic beatnik look of turtlenecks and black leather jackets edged with fur. After induction into the French army in 1960, Saint Laurent suffered a nervous collapse and was replaced at the House of Dior by designer Marc Bohan. In 1962 Saint Laurent opened his own fashion house. In addition to his celebrated trousers and innovative jumpsuits, metallic and transparent fabrics were prominent in his late '60s collections; in the 1970s, inspired by ethnic costume, he introduced the haute peasant look. During the 1960s and '70s his enterprises expanded to include ready-to-wear licenses, accessories, household linens, fragrances, and menswear. In 1983 the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York held a retrospective of Saint Laurent's designs. He sold the ready-to-wear business to Gucci for some $1 billion in 1999 and shut down the couture house when he retired in 2002. Saint Laurent was made a grand officer of the Legion of Honour in 2007.

▪ 1999

      To celebrate his 40th year as a designer, French fashion legend Yves Saint Laurent staged a fashion show of unprecedented scale on July 12, 1998, at the grand Stade de France in Paris, the site of the final match of the World Cup soccer competition. Before the start of play, some 300 models outfitted with Saint Laurent ensembles presented a retrospective of his work before 80,000 spectators. The show was also broadcast on 176 television channels worldwide and marked the end of a year of special tributes, including a photographic exhibition of his work and the opening of the Yves Saint Laurent Gallery—housing a collection of 16th- and 17th-century French paintings—in the restored wing of London's National Gallery.

      Yves-Henri-Donat-Mathieu Saint Laurent was born on Aug. 1, 1936, in Oran, Alg. He went to Paris at the age of 17 and briefly attended fashion school before becoming Christian Dior's protégé after the latter saw some of his sketches. Following Dior's death in 1957, the 21-year-old Saint Laurent, on Jan. 30, 1958, was placed in charge of designing couture for the House of Dior, which had become the most respected French fashion house. Soon, this shy designer became a star. He was also romantically linked with Pierre Bergé, an outspoken part-time political raconteur.

      Two years after Saint Laurent's stellar Dior debut, he was fired from his post, and he suffered the first of several nervous breakdowns. With Bergé he set up his own fashion house, and although their personal relationship fizzled sometime in the 1980s, their strong, successful—though often stormy—partnership remained intact. Besides earning a fortune—his personal net worth has been estimated at £94 million—Saint Laurent was the originator of a number of fashion firsts and was foremost remembered for popularizing women's trousers for all occasions. He introduced a "little girl" look, the A-line silhouette, and see-through blouses. His styles for skirts ranged from sophisticated, longer ones to drastically shorter skirts. During the 1960s turtlenecks and black leather jackets edged in fur ushered in the beatnik look, and he featured metallic and transparent fabrics in his collections of that era. A decade later Saint Laurent introduced the haute peasant look.

      Though branching out into ready-to-wear lines, accessories, household linens, fragrances, and men's clothing, during recent years Saint Laurent seemed content to perfect his classics rather than initiate any groundbreaking trends. In June Bergé announced that the increasingly reclusive Saint Laurent would concentrate on his haute couture designs and that the duties for the ready-to-wear line would be assumed by Alber Elbaz. Speculation about the fate of the Yves Saint Laurent Groupe had begun in 1993 when it was purchased by Elf Sanofi, which on Jan. 1, 2000, would take full control of the house.

BRONWYN COSGRAVE

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▪ French designer
byname of  Yves-Henri-Donat-Mathieu Saint Laurent  
born Aug. 1, 1936, Oran, Alg.
died June 1, 2008, Paris, France
 French fashion designer noted for his popularization of women's trousers for all occasions.

      After completing his secondary education in Oran, Alg., Saint Laurent left for Paris to pursue a career in designing theatrical costumes and women's fashions. He attended fashion school for a short time and won first prize in an international design contest. When a Vogue magazine executive showed Christian Dior (Dior, Christian) some of Saint Laurent's sketches, he was hired immediately as Dior's assistant. He was 17 at the time.

      As Dior's protégé, Saint Laurent was named the head of the House of Dior at Dior's death in 1957. Following the “little-girl” look and the A-line silhouette, he introduced more sophisticated, longer skirts and, in 1959, drastically shortened skirts. In 1960 he introduced the chic beatnik look of turtlenecks and black leather jackets edged with fur.

      After induction into the French army in 1960, Saint Laurent suffered a nervous collapse and was replaced at the House of Dior by designer Marc Bohan. In 1962 Saint Laurent opened his own fashion house and quickly emerged as one of the most influential designers in Paris. He popularized trousers for women for both city and country wear. Metallic and transparent fabrics were prominent in his late '60s collections; in the 1970s, inspired by ethnic costume, he introduced the haute peasant look. During the 1960s and '70s his enterprises expanded to include ready-to-wear licenses, accessories, household linens, fragrances (notably Y [1964], Rive Gauche [1971], and Opium [1977]), and men's clothes in addition to his couture business.

      In 1983 the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York held a retrospective of Saint Laurent's designs. He sold the ready-to-wear business to Gucci for some $1 billion in 1999 and shut down the couture house when he retired in 2002. In 2007 Saint Laurent was made a grand officer of the Legion of Honour.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Saint Laurent, Yves — (1936 )    Born Yves Henri Donat Mathieu Saint Laurent, in Oran, Algeria, to a socialite mother and an insurance company manager father. He was schooled at the Collège du Sacre Coeur, graduating in 1954, but moved to Paris to continue his… …   Historical Dictionary of the Fashion Industry

  • Saint-Laurent,Yves — Saint Lau·rent (săɴ lô ränʹ), Yves. Originally Henri Donat Matthieu. Born 1936. Algerian born French fashion designer who pioneered ready to wear fashions and adapted menswear for women. * * * …   Universalium

  • Saint Laurent, Yves-Henri-Donat-Mathieu — (1936 )    couturier    Born in Oran, Algeria, Yves Saint Laurent, as he is known, the successor to christian dior, was immediately recognized for his talent in 1958 at the showing of his first collection. The founder of his own fashion house… …   France. A reference guide from Renaissance to the Present

  • Saint Laurent, Yves (-Henri-Donat-Mathieu) — born Aug. 1, 1936, Oran, Alg. Algerian born French fashion designer. He left for Paris after secondary school to pursue a fashion career and at 17 was hired as Christian Dior s assistant. When Dior died four years later, he was named head of the… …   Universalium

  • Saint Laurent, Yves (-Henri-Donat-Mathieu) — (n. 1 ago. 1936, Orán, Argelia). Diseñador de modas francés de origen argelino. Después de su educación secundaria, se trasladó a París en pos de una carrera en la moda, y a los 17 años fue contratado como asistente de Christian Dior. Cuando este …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Yves Saint-Laurent — Yves Henri Donat Mathieu Saint Laurent (* 1. August 1936 in Oran, Algerien; † 1. Juni 2008 in Paris) war ein französischer Modeschöpfer von Haute Couture und Prêt à porter, der bis 2002 in Paris tätig war. Saint Laurent wirkte vielfach… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Yves Saint Laurent — Yves Henri Donat Mathieu Saint Laurent (* 1. August 1936 in Oran, Algerien; † 1. Juni 2008 in Paris) war ein französischer Modeschöpfer, der von 1953 bis 2002 in Paris tätig war. Saint Laurent wirkte vielfach stilbildend in der Mode, die Fachwelt …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Yves-Saint-Laurent — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Saint Laurent. Yves Saint Laurent Naissance 1 août 1936 Oran en Algérie Décès 1 juin 2008 (à 71 ans) Paris Nationalité …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Yves Saint-Laurent — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Saint Laurent. Yves Saint Laurent Naissance 1 août 1936 Oran en Algérie Décès 1 juin 2008 (à 71 ans) Paris Nationalité …   Wikipédia en Français

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