From Yves Saint Laurent's heyday right up to today, these are the iconic YSL catwalk moments you need to know about
During his tenure throughout the 1960s and 1970s, Yves Saint Laurent championed ready-to-wear and empowered women through fashion during a historic era for women’s rights. As well as pioneering the beatnik look, safari jackets and cigarette pants, Saint Laurent smashed gendered dress codes with his creation of what remains to be the most famous tuxedo suit for women in 1966, the Le Smoking suit.
Passing through many incredibly talented hands over the years, from Tom Ford, Alber Elbaz, Stefano Pilati and Hedi Slimane to its current Creative Director Anthony Vaccarello, we’ve charted the most iconic YSL show moments ever…
Yves Saint Laurent, 1976
YSL once said: ‘I do classic things for women to have the same assurance with their clothes that men have with theirs.’ In line with Coco Chanel’s ground-breaking tweed suits at the time, one of Saint Laurent’s most noteworthy contributions to the fashion world was the introduction of sleek mannish tailoring to women’s wardrobes in the ‘70s.
YSL Spring/Summer 2000
In 1998 Saint Laurent showed his last ready-to-wear collection for the ready-to-wear label (named Rive Gauche ) he had founded more than 30 years before, and handed over the reigns to Albert Elbaz. The Moroccan-Israeli fashion designer helmed the YSL ready-to-wear line until 1999.
YSL Autumn/Winter 2004
In 1999, Tom Ford took over the ready-to-wear collection, while Saint Laurent maintained creative control of the haute couture line. Ford injected the house with his signature brand of sex appeal. YSL halted the haute couture line in 2002.
YSL Spring/Summer 2008
Stefano Pilati was appointed to head up the prêt-à-porter line, following Tom Ford’s departure in 2004. His style was considered more traditionally Parisian than Ford’s provocative glamazons (how much do you want that YSL logo jumper?).
Hedi Slimane’s Saint Laurent Years
In 2012, Hedi Slimane (who had previously art directed the relaunched YSL menswear line, Rive Gauche Homme, in 1997) replaced Pilati as creative director. Having successfully overhauled the house’s entire image (and significantly increased sales), most notably changing the brand name from YSL to Saint Laurent, Slimane showed his final collection in 2015. His swan song line revived Yves Saint Laurent’s dormant couture line, to much critical acclaim.
YSL Spring/Summer 2017
Anthony Vaccarello showed his first collection on September 27th 2016. Shown in the arcade of a former abbey turned military office, that will become the maison’s new headquarters in the coming years, guests were greeted by a giant neon Yves Saint Laurent logo (originally designed in the early 1960s) suspended from a crane. The Belgian-Italian designer’s NSFW collection of pouf-sleeved leather micro mini-dress, sheer tops (worn sans braziers naturellement) and long tassled earrings that tickled the collarbones played on Saint Laurent’s rock n’ roll heritage. Vaccarello’s BFFs Anja Rubik and Freja Beha walkedin the show alongside a solitary male model, whom many editor’s believe may herald the future of Vaccarello’s YSL menswear line.