SAINT LAURENT


Era un uomo alto e gentile Yves Saint Laurent, interessato all’arte in tutte le sue forme: la pittura, la scultura e la letteratura. Introverso e tormentato nutriva un amore incondizionato per il suo lavoro tanto che appena ventenne viene chiamato alla guida della Maison Dior, alla morte del maestro Christian Dior. Yves si immerge anima e corpo nella creazione della sua prima collezione, la linea “Trapèze”, che riscuote un successo clamoroso e praticamente immediato. La stampa lo acclama come l’enfant prodige della moda.
Quattro anni dopo apre la propria casa di moda insieme al compagno Pierre Bergé, la prima collezione, accolta da un uragano di applausi segna l’inizio dell’era di Yves Saint Laurent. A un tempo erede dello stile di Chanel e successore di Christian Dior, inventa nel 1966, il primo pret-a-porter di lusso: “Saint Laurent Rive Gauche”
Nato ad Orano, in Algeria, nel 1936, Yves si trasferisce a Parigi nel 1954 dove si iscrive all’Ecole de la Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture e vince il concorso del Sécrétariat International de la Laine. Convinto che il vestito dovesse essere al servizio della donna e non viceversa, inventò un vocabolario, una sintassi e una grammatica che erano solo suoi, inconfondibili. Colorista smagliante e incontestato, si impose di portare le proprie creazioni alle frontiere della pittura, traendo ispirazione da Mondrian, Picasso, Matisse, Warhol, Goya e Velàzquez. Mise lo smoking alle donne, creò i famosi tailleurs pantalone, disegnò sahariane, blazer e giubbotti di cuoio nero. Introdusse, per primo, tessuti animalier nelle sue collezioni. Era un assiduo lettore di Proust, in particolare dell’ opera “Alla ricerca del tempo perduto” e quando soggiornava negli alberghi amava presentarsi con uno pseudonimo: Swan, il nome di uno degli interpreti principali del libro.
Gli amici lo ricordano come un uomo colto e senza pace, che avvertiva molto la fatica del vivere, attanagliato da crisi esistenziali che lo portavano a cercare sollievo nell’ alcol e nella droga, nell’ isolamento fino alla depressione. Yves Saint Laurent si spenge dopo una lunga malattia a Parigi nel giugno 2008, all’età di 71 anni.
Attuale direttore creativo della maison è Hedi Slimane che ha tolto dal marchio il nome del fondatore, ribattezzandolo “Saint Laurent Paris”, Slimane era già stato da Yves Saint Laurent a disegnare l’uomo quando la maison era ancora in mano a Yves ed al compagno Pierre Bergé. Ne esce quando il marchio viene acquisito da Gucci Group e Tom Ford prende il timone creativo dell’uomo e della donna. Nel 2000 viene nominato head designer Stefano Pilati, ex Prada e Miu Miu, nonché assistente di Tom Ford da Yves Saint Laurent. Astrazione e distacco sono due termini che ben definiscono la sua produzione, le linee sono nette, i volumi scultorei; i tessuti opachi, corposi, mascolini oppure l’esatto contrario. Se nelle collezioni femminili il rapporto con l’archivio YSL è filtrato fino alla rarefazione assoluta, nelle collezioni maschili Pilati definisce la figura di un dandy contemporaneo che si difende dietro la corazza sdegnosa dell’eleganza estrema. Il nuovo direttore creativo Slimane ha da poco annunciato che Saint Laurent Paris potrebbe presto tornare a sfilare sulle passerelle dell’haute couture.

Photos from Style.com, YSL.

Yves Saint Laurent, was a tall, kind man, interested in art in all its forms: painting, sculpture and literature. He was introverted and tormented, and loved his work unconditionally, so that at barely twenty he was called to lead the Maison Dior, on the death of the master Christian Dior. Yves devoted himself body and soul to creating his first collection, the “Trapèze” line, which almost immediately met with outstanding success. The press acclaimed him as the enfant prodige of fashion.

Four years later he opened his own fashion house with his partner Pierre Bergé. His first collection, welcomed with a torrent of applause, marked the beginning of the Yves Saint Laurent era. At the same time, heir to Chanel’s style and successor to Christian Dior, in 1966 he invented the first luxury prêt-à-porter: “Saint Laurent Rive Gauche”

Yves was born in Orano, in Algeria, in 1936, and then relocated to Paris in 1954, where he enrolled at the Ecole de la Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture and won the Sécrétariat International de la Laine competition. He was convinced that clothes should be at women’s service and not the other way round, and invented an unmistakable vocabulary, syntax and grammar which were uniquely his. He was a dazzling and undisputed Colourist, and committed himself to pushing his creations to the boundaries of painting, drawing inspiration from Mondrian, Picasso, Matisse, Warhol, Goya and Velàzquez. He dressed women in dinner-jackets, he created his famous trouser suits, he designed sahariennes, blazers and black leather jackets. He was the first to introduce animalier fabrics in his collections. He was a passionate reader of Proust, in particular of “In Search of Lost Time”, and when he stayed in hotels he liked to introduce himself with a pseudonym: Swan, the name of one of the main character in the book.

His friends remember him as a learned man who could find no peace, who felt deeply the effort of living, seized by existential crises which led him to find relief in alcohol and drugs, and in isolation which led to depression. Yves Saint Laurent passed away after a long illness in Paris in June 2008, at the age of 71.

The current creative director of the maison is Hedi Slimane, who removed the name of the founder from the brand, renaming it “Saint Laurent Paris.” Slimane had already been at Yves Saint Laurent, designing men’s wear when the maison was still in the hands of Yves and his partner Pierre Bergé. He left when the brand was acquired by the Gucci Group and Tom Ford took the creative helm of both men and women’s wear. Stefano Pilati was nominated head designer in 2000; he had formerly worked at Prada and Miu Miu, as well as being Tom Ford’s assistant at Yves Saint Laurent. Abstraction and detachment are two terms that appropriately describe his production, with its clear-cut lines and sculptural volumes; the fabrics are opaque, full-bodied and masculine, or the exact opposite. While in the women’s collections the relationship with the YSL archive is filtered until it reaches absolute rarefaction. In the men’s collections Pilati defined the figure of a contemporary dandy who defends himself behind the disdainful armour of extreme elegance. The new creative director Slimane has recently announced that Saint Laurent Paris could soon be back on the haute couture catwalks.

Photos from Style.com, YSL.