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Yves Saint Laurent


One of the most distinctive and influential designers of the second half of the twentieth century, Yves Saint Laurent takes his place in the pantheon of French couturiers, alongside Coco Chanel, Christian Dior, and Jeanne Lanvin. Yves Saint Laurent, the first comprehensive retrospective of his life’s work, will accompany an exhibition of some 250 garments from the collection of the Foundation Pierre Bergé–Yves Saint Laurent at the Petit Palais in Paris.

From his early days working under Dior and heading the House of Dior after his mentor’s death, to the opening of his first prêt a porter shop on the Rive Gauche and the debut of the Le Smoking tuxedo, to the muses he adored, Loulou de la Falaise and Catherine Deneuve among them, this volume reveals the breadth and scope of the designer’s entire career. With a preface by Pierre Bergé, author Faride Chenoune explores the sources of inspiration that drove Saint Laurent’s continuous innovation, drawing upon painting, sculpture, theater, opera, literature, and cinema.

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This luxurious volume, published to accompany the current retrospective of Yves Saint Laurent’s work at Paris’s Petit Palais, beautifully compiles the fashion designer’s professional craft and personal history. Bearer of the iconic initials YSL, the Algerian-born wunderkind entered into the fashion world as an art director for Christian Dior destined for industry success. The book, formatted partially as a timeline, narrates Laurent’s life against the broader backdrop of French social and cultural life. Close friends and colleagues adorn this story with personal accounts of a troubled life lived in the spotlight that was not without its share of intrigue (addictions, failed collections). Those interested in fashion for fashion’s sake will enjoy the many brilliant, high-quality photographs and descriptions of every collection YSL created. Full-page profiles of Laurent’s most revolutionary styles, such as his women’s tuxedo and safari jacket, demonstrate the designer’s significant contribution to fashion history. At its core, this book is a thorough depiction of a man and his craft. –Annie Bostrom


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