FASHION AWARENESS II
BIOGRAPHY Yves Saint Laurent was
BY: Molly H. FM-C born August 1st, 1936
in Oran, Algeria with his Mother and two sisters. At the age of 17, he left for Paris to pursue a career in fashion designing. After attending fashion school for a short time he won first in an international design contest. Yves Saint Laurent was introduced to Christian Dior and hired on the spot as his assistant where he worked until Dior's death in 1957. After taking over as art director for Dior, Yves Saint Laurent launched his first collection for the company, the Ligne Trapéze, that year. It was a resounding success and won him a Neiman Marcus Oscar. In 1960, Yves was replaced at the house of Dior by designer Marc Bohan. He then went on to set up his own fashion house with Pierre Bergé which became one of the most influential designers in Paris. In 1966, he introduced le smoking - his legendary smoking suit. His other inventions include the reefer jacket (1962), the sheer blouse (1966), and the jumpsuit (1968). In October 1998 Yves Saint Laurent showed his last ready-to-wear collection for the Rive Gauche label he had founded more than 30 years before. He carried on his haute couture until 2002. After a brief stint with Alber Elbaz as designer, in 1999 Tom Ford arrived to take control at the house. The brand entered complete glory where it remains today, covering perfume and menswear as well as womenswear. At his last show, in 2002, a tearful Yves Saint Laurent took his final bow as his long-time muse; Catherine Deneuve sang “MaPlus Belle Histoire d'Amour.”
Yves Saint Laurent died from brain cancer at his home in Paris on June 1, 2008. He was 71.