Yves Saint Laurent (French (born Algeria) Oran 1936–2008 Paris)
Length at CB: 40 in. (101.6 cm)
Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of the Brooklyn Museum, 2009; Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Lewis Iselin Jr., 1959
Not on view
After the death of Christian Dior in 1957, Yves Saint Laurent became the chief designer at Dior and faced the challenge of both honoring and updating the signature look of the house. Iconic designs like this from his first collection, illustrate how successfully Saint Laurent met the challenge. The full skirt and self bow marking the waist recall the designs of Dior from the early 1950s, however, the sacque-back treatment brings the dress more than up-to-the-moment. It heralds the a-line silhouette of the 1960s. Saint Laurent's skill is evident in the way that the dress looks as if it is loose and free-flowing, belying the full rigid understructure that makes the design possible.