Yves Saint Laurent

by Samar from San Diego

Yves Henri Donat Matthieu Saint Laurent ( ())
Yves Henri Donat Matthieu Saint Laurent ( ())

"Fashion fades, style is eternal" (Yves Saint Laurent). Some designers have created clothes that didn't go out of style, but instead changed the future of fashion. Yves Saint Laurent, more commonly known as the brand, YSL, was a fashion designer and influencer that began his work in the 60's. His incredible ideas for fashion were a big hit in Europe and eventually to everyone around the world. Even though he has passed away, his influence and life changing designs will never be forgotten. A hero must be innovative and encouraging. Yves Saint Laurent was not only an innovator that changed fashion and style, but also an influential person that encouraged others to be unique. Therefore, he is a hero.

Safari Jacket ( ())
Safari Jacket ( ())

Saint Laurent stood by his innovative and unique designs that later became the fashion of the future. An example of his innovation in women's' style includes,  "His designs during the 1970's changed women's fashion by embracing concepts of women's liberation" ("Yves Saint Laurent."). Women's' fashion had been freed of the stereotype it held, giving more women confidence they may have lacked, as well as inspiring others to experiment with different styles. This innovation in the world of fashion was a huge influence in the industry at the time, and remained influential until today, where we see men and women expressing themselves with what they wear. Another example that shows how unique and futuristic his clothing was is shown in, "By the 1970's he had popularized a style of women's day wear that was inspired by conventionally "masculine" garments such as blazers, pants, and shirts¨ ["Yves Henri Donat Mathieu Saint-Laurent (1936-2008)."]. Most designers only created very feminine styled clothing, which resulted in a lack of variation and uniqueness in the fashion world. Saint Laurent created masculine inspired designs that wooed many people at the time. The style caught on quickly, and remained stylish, as we still see women wearing pants and jackets today. He had an idea to change fashion, and his innovative work led him to become one of the first futuristic designers in history.

"Le Smoking" 1966 ( ())

Saint Laurent's encouragement towards himself and others allowed him to create beautiful designs that would go down in fashion history. An example of his encouragement and passion towards his work is shown at a young age: "His mother loved fashion, and she encouraged her son's interest at an early age. As a child, Saint Laurent thought he would pursue a career designing sets and costumes for ballet and theater performances, despite his father's encouragement to go into law. Saint Laurent won third prize in the International Wool Secretariat dress-designing competition, and his mother took him to Paris to introduce him to people in the fashion industry" ("Yves Saint Laurent."). Saint Laurent couldn't have been as successful as he was if he didn't have encouragement from his mother. The motivation from his former successor, Christian Dior, also inspired and encouraged Saint Laurent to be a great designer. Saint Laurent used the fashion that was popular at the time as the inspiration of his work because he wanted to create something unique. Another example of his encouragement towards others is shown with: "Where Saint Laurent sets the standards for world fashion is in his feminizing of the basic shapes of the male wardrobe. Like Chanel before him, he responded to the subtleties of masculine tailoring seeking to provide a similar sort of style for women" ("Yves Saint Laurent." Contemporary Fashion). Yves Saint Laurent was inspired by the work of designers before him, and he "...invented a whole new language." that encouraged women to be themselves and not have to dress according to the stereotype at the time. Without the encouragement of free expression from Saint Laurent, women today may still be held to the stereotype of wearing dresses everyday. Overall, the passion and encouragement Saint Laurent possessed was what led him to become an amazing designer, as well as an encouraging person.

The whole world was at benefit when Yves Saint Laurent created his unique, detailed and challenging designs. It's hard to imagine what clothes we would be wearing today without his influence on both men and women. The masculine inspired clothing for women and his encouragement of individuality helped him become one of the most inspiring and effective designers out there. "Over the years I have learned that what is important in a dress is the woman who is wearing it" (Saint Laurent). Even though fashion and outer beauty was important to Saint Laurent, the most important thing about his designs was the person who wore them. He believed that clothing wouldn't be as beautiful without a beautiful person, both inside and out. Thank you Saint Laurent, for encouraging individuality and freedom.

Works Cited

Baudot, François. Fashion: the Twentieth Century. New York, Universe, 2006.

Berge, Pierre. "In Quotes: Yves Saint Laurent Tributes." BBC News, BBC, 2 June 2008, Accessed 4 May

2017. Editors, editor. "Yves Saint Laurent.", A&E Networks Television, 2 Apr. 2014, Accessed 27 Apr. 2017.

LACROIX, CHRISTIAN. "In Quotes: Yves Saint Laurent Tributes." BBC News, BBC, 2 June 2008, Accessed

4 May 2017.

Saint Laurent, Yves. "Yves Saint Laurent Quotes." BrainyQuote, Xplore, Accessed 4

May 2017.

"Yves Henri Donat Mathieu Saint‐Laurent (1936-2008)." Hutchinson's Biography Database, July 2011, p. 1. EBSCOhost,

"Yves Saint Laurent." Contemporary Fashion, Gale, 2002. Biography in Context, Accessed 1 May 2017.

"Yves Saint Laurent." Newsmakers, vol. 3, Gale, 2009. Biography in Context, Accessed 27 Apr. 2017.

Page created on 5/18/2017 12:00:00 AM

Last edited 5/18/2017 12:00:00 AM

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Related Links

Saint Laurent - Website for the YSL brand
Good Reads - Book review of the book
Biography - Biography about Yves Saint Laurent