Yves Saint  Laurent's Memorial

Yves Saint Laurent
(1936 - 2008)


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General Details

Name: Mr Yves Saint Laurent
Gender: Male
Age: 71 years old
Lived: Saturday, 1 August 1936 - Sunday, 1 June 2008

My Story

"Chanel gave women freedom and Saint Laurent gave them power"

Yves Saint Laurent, the legendary designer who reworked the rules of fashion by putting women into elegant pantsuits that came to define how modern women would dress, died June 1 2008 at 11.10pm in Paris, a source in Pierre-Berge-Saint Laurent Foundation said.

The reclusive French maestro, who had retired from haute couture in 2002 after four decades at the top of his trade, had been ill for some time.

One of a handful of designers who dominated 20th century fashion - on a par with Christian Dior, Coco Chanel and Paul Poiret - Yves Henri Donat Mathieu Saint Laurent was born in the coastal town of Oran, Algeria, on August 1, 1936, at a time when the North African country was still considered part of France. 

A shy, lonely, child, he became fascinated by clothes, and already had a solid portfolio of sketches when he first arrived in Paris in 1953, aged 17. 

Vogue editor Michel de Brunoff, who was to become a key supporter, was quickly won over, and published them.

The following year Saint Laurent won three of the four categories in a design competition in Paris the fourth went to his contemporary Karl Lagerfeld, now at Chanel. 

Discerning the young man's potential, de Brunoff advised Christian Dior to hire him and he rapidly emerged as heir apparent to the great couturier, taking over the house when Dior died suddenly three years later.

However in 1960, like many Frenchmen of his age, Saint Laurent was called up to fight in his native Algeria, where an independence war was under way.

Less than three weeks later he was given a medical discharge for nervous depression, but when he returned to Paris Dior had already found a replacement for him, in the person of Marc Bohan.

With his close associate and lover Pierre Berge, Saint Laurent resolved to strike out on his own, with Berge, who survives the couturier, taking care of the business side. 

Saint Laurent's success lay in the harmony he achieved between body and garment what he called "the total silence of clothing''.

He was also in the right place at the right time. Having learned his trade at the house of Dior, he founded his own couture house at the start of the 1960s, at a time when the world was changing and there was a new appetite for originality.

Saint Laurent rode his luck through the rise of the youth market and pop culture fuelled by the economic boom of the 1960s, when women suddenly had more economic freedom. He created signature looks and styles and left a legacy of timeless iconic products such as tuxedo, the pantsuit, the safari jacket and the trench coat. 

Some of his style for women was considered so revolutionary at that time that there are famous stories of women wearing Saint Laurent pantsuits who were turned away from hotels and restaurants in London and New York. The suit eventually paved the way for designers like Giorgio Armani and Donna Karan, who built their own fashion houses on the idea that women wearing suits were both powerful and sexy. 

His name and the familiar YSL logo became synonymous with all the latest trends, highlighted by the creation of the Rive Gauche ready-to-wear label and perfume, as well as astute licensing deals for accessories and perfumes.

When he bowed out of fashion in 2002, Saint Laurent spoke of his battles with depression, drugs and loneliness, though he gave no indication that those problems were directly tied to his decision to stop working. 

"I've known fear and terrible solitude,'' he said. "Tranquilisers and drugs, those phony friends. The prison of depression and hospitals. I've emerged from all this, dazzled but sober.''

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awsome designer you will truely be missed
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One of the most important figures in fashion history. Rest In Peace Monsieur Saint Laurent.


Country of Birth: Algeria
Country of Residence: France
City of Residence: Paris
Marital Status: De Facto



Place of Passing: Paris
Date of Passing: 1 June 2008
Cause of Passing: Long illness associated to brain cancer
Type of Funeral: Cremation
Place of Burial: Friends of Yves Saint Laurent scattered his ashes in the botanical garden in Marrakesh, Morocco
Funeral Location: St Roch Church in Paris
Funeral Date: 6 June 2008

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1936 - 2008
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1987 - 2008

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