It might seem rather peculiar that one of the kings of design, Yves Henri Donat Mathieu Saint Laurent spent most of his childhood growing up in Algeria. It only shows us that it does not matter where you were born or where you spent your childhood years, you can discover fashion anywhere in the world, and that is what Yves Saint Laurent did. At the delicate age of seventeen, the designer moved to Paris and had a brief stint in fashion school and afterwards was unexpectedly introduced to Christian Dior where he went to work until 1962.
Soon after his career at Dior came to an end, he decided it was time to set up his own fashion house with his then companion, Pierre Berge. Yves Saint Laurent went on to become one of the most influential designers of the late 20th century. He introduced us to le smoking, which was his legendary smoking suit, the reefer jacket, the sheer blouse, and the jumpsuit. These staple pieces are just as important to a woman’s wardrobe today as they were when they were first introduced to women in the sixties.
It is undoubtedly apparent that this fall, the design world has demonstrated their concentrated approach to the classics, and the approach for Yves Saint Laurent is no different. Just as Prada and Ralph Lauren showed their adoration for the simple pieces like A-line dresses, streamlined pencil skirts, and essential white button down shirts, Yves Saint Laurent put their own interpretation on the classics by adding their chic panache to the timeless looks. As I blissfully explored the Fall 2010 collection, I began to see that Yves Saint Laurent put the final stamp of approval on the fashion world’s regressive love of the classic look.
While acutely studying the usual slender and fair skinned models gathered on the catwalk, I could not help but be drawn to the collection of assorted shapes and silhouettes. Most of these shapes were covered in inky blacks or this season’s celebrated jewel tones like vivid purple amethysts, deep blue sapphires, and rich jaded emeralds. My mind was eloquently engaged with two-piece suits, three-piece suits, modest sheath dresses below the knee, sheer blouses and even the infamous black jumpsuit. While an ebony-colored trapeze dress might seem ordinary to me or you, Yves Saint Laurent layered the same color black cape overtop for curiosity and then placed a silk floppy hat on the head that drooped almost below the jaw line covering most of the model’s face. The pop of a pair of beaming cobalt suede stilettos added finality to the ensemble.
Antagonistic style of Masculinity
While Yves Saint Laurent’s selection of womanly A-line frocks would make me think this entire collection teetered on the effeminate side, the designer would then present the antagonistic style of masculinity found in a jet-black three-piece suit complete with black patent leather gloves and a chunky gold chain necklace that carried a silhouette of a chic and dapper woman. An embellished white button down tucked into the simple black pencil skirt was out of the ordinary but garnishing the head with a nun-like covering called a wimple catapulted the look into uncommon fashion territory. Black capes seemed to be quite characteristic in this fall’s show, but periodically you would catch an unexpected appearance of a blooming fuchsia pink cape, elongated hot pink silk gloves, and even a pair of sixties era spectacles finished with brilliant emerald green lenses.
Almost every model had a fresh clean porcelain face
If the models’ hair was not masked under an extensive headpiece, then it was lackadaisically pulled straight back and bundled up into a messy knot as if it did not matter how it looked from behind. Almost every model had a fresh clean porcelain face with lightly painted copper eye shadow to contrast with the eyes and a delicate pink stain to slightly enhance the lips.
Timeless classics were yet again the primary focus of Yves Saint Laurent Fall 2010 collection, which was true for most autumn collections this year. I believe this makes every woman including myself feel a little closer to the runway apparel we usually stand back and admire thinking about how we might never be able to wear these looks in a typical setting. Now we can all participate in the celebration of the classics, bright suede shoes, sophisticated black suits, and pencil skirts but we might just leave the wimple wearing to the ladies on the runway.