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Yves Saint Laurent - Pride Month Sewing Pattern Designer #3

Yves Henri Donat Mathieu-Saint-Laurent was born August 1,1936 in Oran, Algeria. His parents were French. He grew up in a Villa by the Mediterranean with his parents and two younger sisters. He loved making paper dolls and by the time he was in his early teens, he was designing dresses for his mother and his sisters.

When he was 17, he moved to Paris and enrolled in Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture. Before long his designs were being noticed. The Editor of French Vogue, Michel De Brunhoff, was so impressed that he introduced St, Laurent to Christian Dior. Dior was a force in the industry at the time. Dior took St. Laurent as an apprentice and started teaching him the ins and outs of the fashion industry. He gives Dior a great amount of credit for his success. However, in 1958 his latest collection n was not met with the enthusiasm that previous ones were. The press was beyond unkind and did not let up on the criticism.

In 1959 he was chosen by college student Farah Diba to design her wedding dress for her marriage to the Shah of Iran.

1960 came and so did Saint Laurent's obligation to enlist (be drafted) into the French Army during the Algerian War of Independence. Dior was not happy with him at this point and lobbied to have him conscripted. With Saint Laurent gone, Dior could replace him.

The military was not easy for him. After just 20 days, he ended up in the hospital suffering from stress from the relentless hazing from the other soldiers. During his hospital stay, he got the news that he had been fired by Dior. That only made things worse and he was transferred to Val-de-Grâce military hospital. He was given high doses of sedatives, electro-shock therapy, and psychoactive drugs. He later cited this life event as the cause of his mental illness and drug addiction.

After he was released from the hospital, he sued Dior and won. He then opened his own fashion house with his partner industrialist Pierre Bergé. This is when the brand was born.

In 1967, Saint Laurent shifted his focus from Haute Couture to Ready to Wear making his designs more widely available as well as more affordable. Although the romantic relationship ended in 1976, they remained business partners in the fashion house.

During the 1960s and 1970s, Saint Laurent was well-known for his over-indulgence in alcohol and drugs, especially cocaine at clubs in France and New York. The pressure of designing Haute Couture and ready-to-wear lines was overwhelming for him and he turned to drugs and alcohol for relief.

In 1983, Saint Laurent was honored by the Metropolitan Museum of Art when he became the first living fashion designer to be honored with a solo exhibition. In 2001, French President Jacques Chirac awarded him the rank of Commander of the Légion d'Honneur.In 2002, Saint Laurent retired and became increasingly reclusive. He was awarded the rank of Grand officier de la Légion d'honneur by French President Nicolas Sarkozy in 2007 He co-created a foundation with Bergé in Paris to trace the history of the house of YSL, complete with 15,000 objects and 5,000 pieces of clothing.

Yves Saint Laurent had been ill for many years. His alcohol and drug use exacerbated his illnesses. Saint Laurent died of Brain Cancer on June 1, 2008, just days after he and Berge married. The Doctor and Berge did not tell Saint Laurent that he had only weeks to live knowing that he wouldn't be able to handle that news.

I couldn't possibly cover everything about Yves Saint Laurent in a short blog post. He had an amazing career with a lot of ups and downs. I touched on the major events.

I hope you are enjoying learning about these amazing designers.


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  10. ^ "Debut at Dior". Musée Yves Saint Laurent Paris. Retrieved 23 October 2020.

  11. ^ Howell, Georgina (1978). "1948-1959". In Vogue: Sixty Years of Celebrities and Fashion from British Vogue. Harmondsworth, Middlesex, England: Penguin Books Ltd. pp. 204–205. ISBN 0-14-00-4955-X. Yves Saint the age of 21 found himself perched upon the multi-million franc edifice of the most influential fashion house in the world....[W]ith his first collection,...he launched the [T]rapeze line....'Saint Laurent has saved France!' said the French headlines. 'The great Dior tradition will continue!'

  12. ^ Mulvagh, Jane (1988). "1958". Vogue History of 20th Century Fashion. London, England: Viking, the Penguin Group. p. 251. ISBN 0-670-80172-0. For the nation's largest industry, the well-being of its most prominent couture house was of great social and economic importance....Saint Laurent's first collection...was a resounding success.

  13. ^ Howell, Georgina (1978). "1958". In Vogue: Sixty Years of Celebrities and Fashion from British Vogue. Harmondsworth, Middlesex, England: Penguin Books Ltd. pp. 246, 247. ISBN 0-14-00-4955-X. Saint Laurent's [T]rapeze line, backbone of his successful first collection for Dior.

  14. ^ Mulvagh, Jane (1988). "1958". Vogue History of 20th Century Fashion. London, England: Viking, the Penguin Group. p. 254. ISBN 0-670-80172-0. Saint Laurent's first collection introduced a new silhouette, the wedge-shaped 'Trapeze'...

  15. ^ Howell, Georgina (1978). "1948-1959". In Vogue: Sixty Years of Celebrities and Fashion from British Vogue. Harmondsworth, Middlesex, England: Penguin Books Ltd. p. 204. ISBN 0-14-00-4955-X. ...[W]ith his first collection,...[Saint Laurent] launched the [T]rapeze line – not too different from Dior's A line, but just different enough.

  16. ^ Howell, Georgina (1978). "1955". In Vogue: Sixty Years of Celebrities and Fashion from British Vogue. Harmondsworth, Middlesex, England: Penguin Books Ltd. p. 239. ISBN 0-14-00-4955-X. Dior produces his new A line, a triangle widened from a small head and shoulders to a full pleated or stiffened hem.

  17. ^ Mulvagh, Jane (1988). "1955". Vogue History of 20th Century Fashion. London, England: Viking, the Penguin Group. p. 230. ISBN 0-670-80172-0. Dior's...'A' line consisted of coats, suits and dresses flared out into wide triangles from narrow shoulders. The waistline was the cross bar of the A and could be positioned either under the bust in an Empire manner or low down on the hips.

  18. ^ Mulvagh, Jane (1988). "1958". Vogue History of 20th Century Fashion. London, England: Viking, the Penguin Group. p. 254. ISBN 0-670-80172-0. The dress sloped down from the shoulders to a widened hem just below the knee, maintaining a definite geometric line through precise tailoring.

  19. ^ Hall, Harriet (16 December 2016). "Celebrating 70 years of Christian Dior: From the New Look to feminist slogans". Stylist. Retrieved 23 October 2020.

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  23. ^ Morris, Bernadine (15 August 1976). "Fashion: Paris Report". The New York Times. p. 179. Retrieved 4 April 2022. In the late 1960's, [Saint Laurent] watched the student riots in Paris and came up with the pants suit, which everyone is still wearing.

  24. ^ Morris, Bernadine (16 September 1968). "Saint Laurent Has a New Name for Madison Avenue – Rive Gauche". The New York Times: 54. Retrieved 23 April 2023. During the student upheavals in Paris in May [1968], [Saint Laurent] saw the girls and boys behind the barricades pants...'They looked beautiful...,' he said...'Fashion is not only couture....Events are more important.'...[In] his last Paris couture collection, shown in July,...[p]ants outfits overshadowed more conventional attire.

  25. ^ McKelvey, Kathryn; Munslow, Janine (2011). Fashion Design: Process, Innovation and Practice. John Wiley & Sons. p. 87. ISBN 978-1-119-95244-2.

  26. ^ "1978 Broadway Suit Collection". Musée Yves Saint Laurent Paris. 'YSL' ovations every time she sauntered out on the runway in another version of the spencer jacket'.

  27. ^ Donovan, Carrie (12 November 1978). "Why the Big Change Now". The New York Times. p. 226. Retrieved 18 November 2021. What Saint Laurent sprang on the fashion world last January when he introduced man‐tailored suit jackets with shoulders squared out with padding...has now become staple fashion in Italy, France and America.

  28. ^ Jump up to:a b Drake, Alicia. The Beautiful Fall: Lagerfeld, Saint Laurent, and Glorious Excess in 1970s Paris. Little, Brown and Company, 2006. p.49.

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  30. ^ Donovan, Carrie (12 November 1978). "Why the Big Change Now". The New York Times. p. SM226. Retrieved 18 November 2021. ...Yves Saint Laurent — the most influential fashion designer in the world...

  31. ^ Hyde, Nina S. (21 September 1978). "Saint Laurent: On the Scent of a New 'Seduction'". The Washington Post. Retrieved 18 March 2022. He is the most influential fashion designer in the world...

  32. ^ Morris, Bernadine (12 April 1978). "Saint Laurent: The Clothes are the Message". The New York Times. p. C14. Retrieved 1 December 2021. The reason why he is the most copied designer in the world is because he looks at the way people live and the way they dress and then tries to make them look a little better.

  33. ^ Peake, Andy (2018). "The New Ease in Fashion". Made for Walking. Atglen, Pennsylvania: Schiffer Fashion Press. p. 113. ISBN 978-0-7643-5499-1. ...[I]n 1974,...Saint Laurent created a Russian-themed collection....Saint Laurent's collection featured full skirts that fell below the knees, thick sweaters, capes, quilted gold jackets, velvet and satin knickerbockers, long fur coats and matching fur hats, and a new, and very distinctive, style of knee-length fashion boots...loose-fitting...

  34. ^ Morris, Bernadine (7 April 1976). "Saint Laurent Was Hailed and Adored; For Kenzo, Tumult and Frency". The New York Times. p. 47. Retrieved 18 February 2022. Next fall's peasants, according to Saint Laurent, will wear boots and babushkas...

  35. ^ Freund, Andreas (8 August 1976). "The Empire of Saint Laurent". The New York Times. p. 87. Retrieved 18 February 2022. The noise about Saint Laurent's big silhouette and folkloric look served to enhance his reputation...

  36. ^ Grange, Jacques (21 October 2009). "An Introduction to Château Gabriel". Christie's. Retrieved 20 October 2014.

  37. ^ Horyn, Cathy (24 December 2000). "Yves of Destruction". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 11 June 2021.

  38. ^ "'Saint Laurent': Another view of the great fashion designer". The Seattle Times. 11 June 2015. Retrieved 11 June 2021.

  39. ^ Larkin, Kathy (1 January 1979). "Fashion". 1979 Collier's Yearbook Covering the Year 1978. Crown-Collier Publishing Company. pp. 251–252. ...Saint Laurent...confirmed huge shoulders, puffed sleeves to emphasize width further...

  40. ^ Morris, Bernadine (30 August 1981). "The Ultimate Luxury". The New York Times. p. 206. Retrieved 6 March 2022. Saint Laurent emphasized suits that were squared at the top and tapering to the hem, like a triangle standing on its point.

  41. ^ Donovan, Carrie (31 March 1985). "Fashion: Feminine Flourishes". The New York Times. p. 80. Retrieved 9 March 2022. Karl Lagerfeld..., Yves Saint Laurent, Emanuel Ungaro and Hubert de Givenchy...continued with their versions of the rather aggressive broad-shouldered silhouette...

  42. ^ Russell, Mary (8 April 1979). "Fashion/Beauty Fallout from Paris". The New York Times. p. SM19. Retrieved 3 March 2022. Yves Saint Laurent has retreated into an autocritical contemplation of his years as the established 'No. 1' of Paris fashion. These days, he is creating refined and rethought versions of his legendary look.

  43. ^ Donovan, Carrie (6 May 1979). "American Designers Come of Age". The New York Times. p. 254. Retrieved 4 April 2022. ...Saint Laurent may have reached the point where he feels that he has made his basic contribution to fashion and that now, like Chanel who kept on and on with her famous suit — he wants to reinforce his legend.

  44. ^ Hyde, Nina (6 December 1983). "YSL". The Washington Post. Retrieved 7 March 2022. Saint Laurent says the day of big fashion changes is over. What he cares about is refining the classic, the basics, perfecting what he has already put into the fashion vernacular.

  45. ^ Donovan, Carrie (22 June 1986). "Paris Cachet: Infinite Ideas". The New York Times. p. 39. Retrieved 22 June 2022. Saint Laurent's...ready-to-wear efforts have been slowly sagging season after season.

  46. ^ Cunningham, Bill (1 March 1986). "Bright New Fashion Takes a Brave New Direction". Details. Vol. IV, no. 8. New York, NY: Details Publishing Corp. p. 90. ISSN 0740-4921. Yves Saint Laurent, the acknowledged king of the status quo in Europe, may have been a revolutionary in his early days...Now, however, St. Laurent has imposed a paralyzing primness...that suggests a retreat to the philistine cathedral of acceptable good taste.

  47. ^ Cunningham, Bill (1 March 1988). "Fashionating Rhythm". Details. Vol. VI, no. 8. New York, NY: Details Publishing Corp. p. 121. ISSN 0740-4921. The saddest moment of the spring ready-to-wear collections was the hackneyed offering of Yves Saint Laurent. What a pathetic decline for the former king of world fashion, who dominated design for...twenty years. One couldn't believe that the same man was responsible for what was paraded before the buyers and press. The loss of Saint Laurent's legendary color mixing, the rehash of decade-old designs, the afterthought accessories, left the audience confounded. One wanted to believe that Saint Laurent was not involved....[H]e appeared to have lost a very rare gift – his creative talent.

  48. ^ Hyde, Nina (27 October 1988). "YSL, At the Ready". The Washington Post. Retrieved 1 March 2022. ...Saint Laurent revived things from past collections to assure his customers that they can keep on wearing his styles no matter what the year.

  49. ^ Hyde, Nina S. (2 April 1980). "The Phases of Yves". The Washington Post. Retrieved 6 March 2022. When did he first do the Mondrian styles? When was the first smoking jacket? How about the first tiered challis printed baby dress, the first cowboy styles, the first ruffled peasant styles? If you didn't remember exactly, it didn't matter, since the current versions, while new, look familiar enough to be the original versions.

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  53. ^ Cheng, Andrea (27 April 2018). "Untold Stories About Loulou de La Falaise, Yves Saint Laurent's Lifelong Muse". CR Fashion Book. Archived from the original on 27 September 2021. Retrieved 11 October 2021.

  54. ^ Veronica, Horwell (8 November 2011). "Loulou de la Falaise obituary". The Guardian. Retrieved 26 October 2021.

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By Son Yffic -, Fair use,




Wonderful designer - I've looked up many of his designs and he had quite a range of talent.



I feel very fortunate that Vogue Patterns had designs from some of the best, including Yves Saint Laurent, when I started sewing in the 80s. YSL was certainly innovative and so gifted. The prices of the clothes were way out of my league as a young adult but it certainly motivated me to sew!


Janie, My mother sewed and I remember her making a lot of Vogue Designer patterns. YSL being one of many that she made,

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