YVES SAINT LAURENT
From Oran, Algeria, of Alsatian descent, Mr. Saint Laurent left its hometown to study art in Paris in 1953 at age 17. Two years later at age 19 he was introduced to Christian Dior, who hired him immediately as his design assistant in 1954-1957. Yves Saint Laurent was brilliant at visualizing things early with a heightened awareness, interpreting the mood of the world, not just the street, and turning his vision into designs that people want. Drawing influences from history, art, and literature, he is famous for his 1958 trapeze line for Dior, then under his company: the "Mondrian" dress, "the smoking" suit (based on a man's tuxedo with satin lapel), the Safari look, military styles, the costumes he designed for actress Catherine Deneuve in Belle de Jour, the 1976 collection inspired by the Ballets Russes, and the ready-to-wear collections based on Carmen, 1976, which included 300 numbers and ran for over three hours. With its unique style, Yves Saint Laurent definitely defined the way 20th century women dressed.