This 1985 file picture shows Yves Saint Laurent. The legendary designer who reworked the rules of fashion by putting women into elegant pantsuits that came to define how modern women dressed, died Sunday evening, June 1, 2008, a longtime friend and associate said. He was 71.[Agencies]
Legendary designer Yves Saint Laurent, who reworked the rules of fashion by putting women into elegant pantsuits that came to define how modern women dressed, died Sunday evening, a longtime friend and associate said. He was 71.
Pierre Berge, Saint Laurent's business partner for four decades, said he had died at his Paris home following a long illness.
A towering figure of 20th century fashion, Saint Laurent was widely considered the last of a generation that included Christian Dior and Coco Chanel and made Paris the fashion capital of the world, with the Rive Gauche, or Left Bank, as its elegant headquarters.
In the fast-changing world of haute couture, Saint Laurent was hailed as the most influential and enduring designer of his time. From the first YSL tuxedo and his trim pantsuits to see-through blouses, safari jackets and glamorous gowns, Saint Laurent created instant classics that remain stylish decades later.
Berge praised Saint Laurent as the man who marked "the second half of the 20th century" in fashion.
"Chanel gave women freedom" in the first half, and Saint Laurent "gave them power," he said on France-Info radio. Saint Laurent was a "true creator," going beyond the aesthetic to make a social statement, Berge said.
"In this sense he was a libertarian, an anarchist and he threw bombs at the legs of society. That's how he transformed society and that's how he transformed women."