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Yves et ses femmes

Hello all you Connoisseurs of Couture!  For my final installment of All About Yves, I wanted to write about Yves Saint Laurent and “his” women.   A cadre of talented beauties, Saint Laurent dressed them, was the best of friends with them, and adored them.  Who are these amazing creatures?  Let’s investigate…

Loulou de la Falaise was an aristocrat and hailed from a long line of stunning, stylish women.  When Saint Laurent met her in 1968 he apparently promptly besieged her with his clothing and was completely smitten!

Eventually de la Falaise worked alongside Saint Laurent designing jewelry and hats for him.  With her reed-thin figure and natural elegance, de la Falise was one of the women who became a living embodiment of the essence of the Yves Saint Laurent aesthetic.

The divine Betty Catroux is a white-blonde, whippet-thin androgynous goddess who met Saint Laurent in a nightclub in Paris.  They both instantly recognized each other as soul mates and were scarcely apart after that.  Catroux, however, refused to work with Saint Laurent; she wanted to be his playmate.  And what a playmate she was!  Together Saint Laurent and his “twin sister” took Paris by storm.

With his two inspirations by his side, Saint Laurent opened his Rive Gauche boutique in 1969. Notice that Catroux, on the left, is wearing a YSL safari tunic as a dress (with thigh-hight boots, no less) and de la Falaise wears YSL safari as well ,but in a softer, more bohemian way. These looks are typical of both women; they wore Saint Laurent designs but put their own definitive stamp of the clothes.

In 1966 Yves Saint Laurent also had a life-altering association with Catherine Deneuve when he designed her wardrobe for the film Belle de Jour. Sleek, chic and using things like pea coats in luxe fabrics, the clothes in this film are iconic, to say the least.  Of course, when one puts Catherine Deneuve in them, any clothing becomes incredible, no?  Below is the famous “schoolgirl” dress; simple yet subversive as the look is not on a schoolgirl at all, but on an exciting, sexy woman.

Above is YSL’s beloved peacoat glammed up with a fur pillbox and sophisticated sunglasses.  Belle de Jour shook a lot of people to the core with it’s fetishistic qualities, but the costumes are what I dram about, frankly.

Until next time, darlings…


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