After the sudden death of his mentor Christian Dior in 1957, he became the head of the illustrious fashion house at the age of just 21. Saint Laurent’s brief tenure at Dior was characterised by a new, more relaxed style. He introduced simple silhouettes and A-line dresses. In 1962, he founded his eponymous label.
Saint Laurent’s clean, minimal designs epitomised the liberal, carefree attitude of the modern age. Signature silhouettes included the female trench coat, the jumpsuit and his now-iconic velvet tuxedo. When the singer Françoise Hardy stepped out in an Yves Saint Laurent tuxedo — nicknamed ‘Le Smoking’ — Saint Laurent’s name was made.
Other celebrity clients soon followed, among them Betty Catroux and Loulou de la Falaise. Catherine Deneuve was another of his famous friends and muses. In 2019, Deneuve’s collection of Yves Saint Laurent shoes, handbags and haute couture ensembles realised a total of €900,625 at Christie’s in Paris. The Parisian dancer and singer Zizi Jeanmaire was also a fan. Her collection of Yves Saint Laurent bags, dresses, pussy bow blouses and accessories was sold at Christie’s in 2021.
As well as being a fashion innovator, Saint Laurent was a talented graphic artist, with a love of art, music and performance. Over the course of his career, he created costumes for theatre, ballet and film. Christie’s has sold a diverse range of Saint Laurent’s graphic collages, costume designs and fashion sketches. Saint Laurent and his partner Pierre Bergé also assembled a remarkable collection of fine and decorative arts, which sold for nearly €374 million at Christie’s in Paris in 2009.
Saint Laurent died in 2008. In 2012, creative director Heidi Slimane announced that the ready-to-wear line would be rebranded Saint Laurent. Following his departure in 2016, Anthony Vaccarello took over as creative director. The Yves Saint Laurent museum in Marrakesh opened in 2017 followed in 2018 by the Yves Saint Laurent museum in Paris. Both are dedicated to preserving Yves Saint Laurent’s legacy. Shown alongside vintage Yves Saint Laurent handbags and garments are original sketches, atelier worksheets and photographs.
MANTEAU DU SOIR ENTIÈREMENT BRODÉ PAR LESAGE, MODELE "COROMANDEL" ET JUPE LONGUE EN CRÊPE DE SOIE
Untitled (design for the "Homage to Tom Wesselmann, Autumn-winter 1966 haute couture collection")
EXCEPTIONNELLE VESTE "HOMMAGE A GEORGES BRAQUE" BRODEE PAR LESAGE ET JUPE EN SATIN BLEU
RARE ET IMPORTANTE ROBE DU SOIR COURT "HOMMAGE A PICASSO"
ENSEMBLE DE SOIR : BLOUSE ET CHÂLE DE MOUSSELINE INDIENNE ET JUPE DE TAFFETAS MARRON
ROBE DE SOIR COURTE PERLÉE MAUVE ET CRISTAL BRODÉE PAR LANEL
BOTH LABELED 'YVES SAINT LAURENT', THE COAT TAGGED '5974' AND THE GOWN '5972', 1970S
VESTE DU SOIR EN VELOURS NOIR BRODÉ DE SEQUINS, PIERRERIES ET CUIR FROISSÉ
ROBE DE SOIR LONG EN VELOURS LAMÉ NOIR ET OR
ROBE DE SOIR COURTE EN MOUSSELINE DE SOIE NOIRE ET CEINTURE ORNÉE D'UNE BROCHE EN MÉTAL DORÉ FIGURANT UNE COLOMBE PAR GOOSSENS
LABELED 'YVES SAINT LAURENT PARIS/3709', PROBABLY 1960S-1970S
ROBE DE COCKTAIL ENTIEREMENT BRODEE DE PERLES ET PAILLETTES DE RHODOID
ROBE DE SOIR DRAPÉE DE PANNE DE VELOURS MÉTALLISÉE OR