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Yves Saint-Laurent, "couture" pop

- 10/05/2021
yves saint laurent


Born in Oran in 1936 and from a high-class family, Yves Saint Laurent yet abhorred these spheres.

Far from being an absurd whim of an enfant terrible who rejects for no reason his background, he developed a serious thinking about the woman, the world around her, her codes and her time.

He understands that the key to success is to adapt rather than to obtrude.

Disciple of the prodigious Christian Dior, he is however against his mentor and the industry he represents itself to be the creator of a new era.
The Dior school of thought is simple:
the woman is immobile, she suffers, and must adapt to the garment that is stiff or even square.
The couture’s approach of Yves Saint Laurent opposes to it and decides that the "woman object" should not be anymore and that the clothes will now fit to the curves of the modern woman.
Equal in rights to man, she can dress like him, in tuxedo or pants, and Saint Laurent releases their movements to make independent women and the translation of the atmosphere of that time.
"It is often said that Chanel had liberated women. It's true. Years later, Saint Laurent has to give them power."

yves saint laurent


In addition to free women and to give them power, Yves Saint Laurent democratizes fashion.
He opens doors, previously sealed, of large haute-couture houses to bring the spirit and inspiration of the street.
Rich client or bourgeois are too frozen for the movement that wants to infuse the fashion designer.
For this, he was inspired by real people to define the style of the modern and active woman.
Pioneer and designer pop, you just have to take a look at windows of current clothing stores to understand that they are right in line with the legacy of Yves Saint Laurent.




Art and fashion have developed tight links that have emerged from the early twentieth century.
Between designers and artists, a complicity has become visible, whether obvious or not, aesthetic or conceptual.
For example, the painter Raoul Dufy drew nearly 5,000 artworks for the fashion designer Paul Poiret in the early 1910s, Elsa Schiaparelli collaborated with Salvador Dali for her first collections or Balenciaga was inspired by Goya's paintings.
Yves Saint Laurent remains the designer who dared to go further.
His passion for art can be quickly seen on his dresses as he gets his inspiration from famous artists and his inspiration for them can be seen on the fabrics he chooses.


The art and the Haute Couture have many similarities as Pierre Bergé argues:
"Tensions between the lines and surfaces, the magnetization between color and light, sequences between pose and movement [...] The taste and the visual acuity that can be found in certain gestures, such as painting and sewing, the same experiment of the line, the same accuracy in the use of contrasts, materials and volumes."


Three years after opening his own fashion house, the designer called "The King of Paris", has an epiphany and reproduces the colors and lines of the paintings by Piet Mondrian on his dresses.
This 1965 AW collection amazes the world and initiates the dialogue that wishes to establish YSL between art and fashion.
Other collections will follow such as "Pop Art" a tribute to Andy Warhol, or dresses inspired by Matisse (1980) or by Vincent Van Gogh and his famous Iris and Sunflowers (1988).
The same year, in 1988, YSL also promotes Picasso and Braque, a good reminder to the 1967collection “Bambara” that was promoting the African art.

yves saint laurent mondrian dress

yves saint laurent portrait

Called "painter of the modern time" by his partner Pierre Bergé, Yves Saint Laurent, in addition to being an inveterate Art lover, was a great collector.
Begun in 1950, his collection brings together hundreds of pieces of art ranging from paintings by Matisse and Picasso to ancient Egyptian sculptures and Limoges enamels from the Renaissance.
"I do not collect, I pile up. These are natural impulses (...). I'm lucky: I have often found the most beautiful objects on my way, by night,  in front of a gallery window. " declared YSL in 1986.
The collection was put up for sale by Pierre Bergé following the death of Saint Laurent in 2008, and the sales reached nearly 375 millions of Euros.

Pope of Haute Couture, contemporary designer close to the aesthetic environment, Yves Saint Laurent is a one-of-a-kind genius, drawing his dresses as an artist draws his paintings, and 50 years after starting to mix the two arts, he is still enjoying an international recognition.


Fashion is a profession "that is not quite an art but needs an artists to exist."
Yves Saint-Laurent

 yves saint laurent logo



Karl Gustavsen graduated from the School of the Chambre Syndicale of Haute Couture in Paris in 1991 and became a stylist for major international designers such as Angelo Tarlazzi, Karl Lagerfeld or Andres Sarda.

After practicing this profession for several years, he devoted himself to his artistic activity in 1990.
He invests his canvas by large flat colors and takes the geometric shapes from the Art Deco style and Japanese design.
His "collages of paper" are a reminder of the cubism of Picasso, Braque and Gris.
His graceful stylized silhouettes are reminiscent of high fashion patterns.
A color is sometimes enough for him to give birth to a subject.
He carves the material playing on the imbrications of the shapes and of the combination of colors.



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