Yves Saint Laurent: A Retrospective

A look back at the iconic fashion designer and his famous silhouettes.

Yves Saint Laurent sits at a press conference shortly after the announcement of his new role as head designer at Christian Dior, November 15, 1957.

Photograph: Getty Images

The 21-year-old designer sketches on a blackboard at the house of Christian Dior, November 1957.

Photograph: Getty Images

The year after Christian Dior’s death, Saint Laurent creates the iconic trapeze dress for his first solo collection with the house, March 19, 1958.

Photograph: AP

The designer grinning with a bevy of models after his fall 1963–64 collection, July 29, 1963.

Photograph: Getty Images

Fitting a model into a chic suit, April 7, 1965.

Photograph: Getty Images

The designer liberated women from skirt suits, putting them into comfortable, functional, and stylish pantsuits. Here a model wears an especially androgynous pin-striped three-piece suit with a tie, February 23, 1967.

Photograph: Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Born in Algeria and later in life vacationing often in Marrakesh, Morocco, the designer was among the first to create African-inspired garments, like this embroidered dress, February 18, 1967.

Photograph: AP

With Lauren Bacall on the CBS special The Paris Collections Fall Fashion Preview, June 26, 1968.

Photograph: Getty Images

A YSL signature, the tunic top is shown here in cashmere at his fall collection, August 8, 1968.

Photograph: AP

YSL updated and glamorized black evening dresses, a staple in his collections. In 1968, the designer added black ostrich feathers around the waist of this see-through version, August 12, 1968.

Photograph: AP

Saint Laurent with muses Betty Calroux (left) and Loulou de la Falaise (right) outside the new Rive Gauche boutique in London, September 13, 1969.

Photograph: Getty Images

Laughing with Nan Kempner at a party for his new fragrance Opium, September 1978.

Photograph: Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images

Inside the Costume Institute’s retrospective show “Yves Saint Laurent; 25 years of Design,” featuring the designer’s Mondrian-inspired pieces, December 5, 1983.

Photograph: AP

The designer continued to update the black evening dress throughout his career; here, it becomes asymmetrical, 1995.

Photograph: Firstview

After YSL campaigns in spring 1987 and fall 1989, Linda Evangelista models for the designer’s runway show in classic black and white, 1996.

Photograph: Firstview

Not one to shy away from color, Saint Laurent shows a ruffled purple dress, a color that will later be referenced in Stefano Pilati’s spring 2007 collection.

Photograph: Firstview

The designer escorts Claudia Schiffer dressed in his final bridal look down his fall couture runway. The supermodel closed many of YSL’s shows during the decade, 1996.

Photograph: Firstview

Schiffer models an iconic black smoking jacket, March 17, 1996.

Photograph: AFT-Getty Images

Saint Laurent toys with a chinoiserie influence for the spring couture show, 1998. He was among the first to champion black models on the runway as well as to look to China for creative inspiration.

Photograph: Firstview

With Catherine Deneuve at the Miró exhibition at the Pompidou Center Museum, January 15, 2000.

Photograph: WireImage

At his spring haute couture show, the designer escorts French model Laetitia Casta down the runway. She wears a dress covered in feathers, a favorite motif of the designer, 2000.

Photograph: Firstview

Though florals are associated with Balenciaga nowadays, Saint Laurent played with the colorful, graphic prints throughout his career, seen here at with Spanish undertones at the spring couture show, 2001.

Photograph: Firstview

The designer revisits the luxurious peasant look; it was first debuted in his seventies revolutionary “Ballets Russes” collection, 2002.

Photograph: Firstview

A parade of his famous, androgynous tuxedo jackets storms the runway in celebration of YSL’s final couture show, 2002

Photograph: Firstview

YSL steps onto the runway to take his last bow, 2002.

Photograph: Firstview

An emotional moment as the designer is flanked by his fans, muses, and friends, including Laetitia Casta and Catherine Deneuve.

Photograph: Firstview

The designer chats with longtime business partner and former lover Pierre Bergé at the opening of the YSL foundation, March 5, 2004.

Photograph: Getty Images

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