An Ode to Mr. Laurent


04 November 2013

Hlumelo Ntsokolo

Fashion heads and fashion followers alike will certainly know who Mr Yves Henri Donat Mathieu-Saint-Laurent is , AKA Yves Saint Laurent. I’m sure many of you have come across the iconic logo ‘YSL’, but for those who haven’t here is a brief foray into the history of this French fashion designer who is generally regarded as one of the greatest names in fashion history.

Mr Laurent was born on the 1st of August 1936. A man whose legacy included the introduction of the tuxedo suit for women, is also known for his use of non-European models in his show.

After Yves had won a designers competition in Paris , he sent some of the sketches to de Brunhoff who noticed how similar they were to the sketches he saw from Christian Dior. Knowing that Dior had created the sketches that morning and that the young man (Yves) could not have seen them, de Brunhoff sent him to Dior, who in recognition of his talent, hired him immediately. Saint Laurent spent his first year at the House of Dior on mundane tasks, such as decorating the studio and designing accessories. However, the young visionary was a quick study and would soon find himself the head designer of the House of Christian Dior S.A at the tender age of 21. He changed the look of Dior in his first collection, enthralling many.

In 1960 Yves left Dior and went on to build an impressive empire all his own. The designer created a plethora of pieces and had a number of his voguish collections sold and displayed in F/W around the world.