Yves Saint Laurent (French (born Algeria) Oran 1936–2008 Paris)
Gift of Thomas L. Kempner, 2006
Not on view
Mrs. Kempner's preferred silhouette for formal evening dress was the narrow "column" gown. In addition, she subscribed to the notion of bareness as an aspect of nighttime glamour-expressed in a wide, off-the-shoulder or "bateau" design, and more typically in a plunging front or back neckline. This elegantly simple gown inverts Mrs. Kempner's usual pairing of a white bodice or shirt with a black skirt. Yves Saint Laurent's sensual juxtaposition of a black velvet bodice with the liquid drape of ivory silk crepe highlights the sharp "V" of the décolleté in a dramatic "Madame X" contrast.
Marking: a) [label] "YVES SAINT LAURENT / PARIS / MADE IN FRANCE / 55066"