Photo at top right: © Pierre Boulat, courtesy of the Pierre and Alexandre Boulat Association.
Written by fashion historians Farid Chenoune and Florence Müller, Yves Saint Laurent (Abrams, June 2010) offers an incredibly comprehensive look at the life and work of one of the most beloved and iconic designers in history. With 200 full-color illustrations, including sections devoted to specific colors in YSL designs and “A Gallery of Saint Laurent Women,” the authors of this beautiful book have left no stone unturned.
The book opens with an essay called “Saint Laurent And I” by Pierre Bergé, YSL’s life-long partner and the president of the Fondation Pierre Bergé–Yves Saint Laurent. Bergé details his first encounter with YSL, the development of his design philosophy and his temperament behind the scenes, and fashion “After Yves.” A timeline of Saint Laurent’s life, beginning with his youth in Oran, Algeria, includes letters to the editor in chief of Vogue Paris, Michel de Brunhoff, excerpts from his collection reviews, and a draft of the YSL logo by graphic designer Cassandre that has come to represent class of fashion all its own. The timeline follows his entire career, but is written in a highly digestible, addictive manner that’s hard to put down, and is replete with sketches, behind-the-scenes photos, and shots of his work in magazines including Vogue and Elle.
All in all, this book is a must-own for the devoted fashion follower. It offers insight into the past and future of fashion design and influence, and will change the way you view an Yves Saint Laurent collection coming down the runway.
Here's a peek inside Yves Saint Laurent:
Above: First tuxedo, worn by Ulla, Fall–Winter 1966 haute couture collection. © Fondation Pierre Bergé–Yves Saint Laurent.
Above: Yves Saint Laurent before his collection sketches, with his dog Moujik, in the studio at 5 avenue Marceau, 1982. Photograph by Pierre Boulat © Pierre Boulat.
What has been your favorite Yves Saint Laurent collection?