Founded by Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé in 1962, shortly after the young couturier left his post at the helm of Christian Dior, Yves Saint Laurent would soon become one of the most successful and influential haute couture houses in Paris. Introducing Le Smoking, the first tuxedo suit for women, in 1966, Saint Laurent also presented iconic, art-inspired creations, from Mondrian dresses to precious Van Gogh embroidery and the famous Ballets Russes collection.
The designer put the women who wore his clothes first (“What’s most important in couture is the body we dress, the woman we dress, more so than the ideas we might have”) and was determined to change attitudes of the era (“Fashion’s purpose is not only to make women look beautiful, but also to reassure them and to give them confidence”). He could be critical of the fashion industry (“I adore clothes but I hate fashion”), and he saw himself as a craftsman who perfectly understood his customer (“I think there are three kinds of designers. The great ones, the true ones, and the ones who know how to delight a woman just by making a very simple dress, or a very simple suit”).
Presented in a beautiful package and accessible format, The World According to Yves Saint Laurent is the perfect gift for fashion fans, capturing the essence of a true visionary.
Jean-Christophe Napias is an author, translator, and editor of books on dandies, dance music, and camp culture. His recent publications include The World According to Karl, Choupette: The Private Life of a High-Flying Fashion Cat, and The World According to Coco.
Patrick Mauries is a writer and publisher of many notable titles on fashion and design, including Goude: The Chanel Sketchbooks, Fornasetti: Designer of Dreams, and The World According to Karl.