Evening ensemble

Design House: Yves Saint Laurent, Paris (French, founded 1961)

Designer: Yves Saint Laurent (French (born Algeria) Oran 1936–2008 Paris)

Date: fall/winter 1983–84

Culture: French

Medium: silk

Credit Line: Gift of Thomas L. Kempner, 2006

Accession Number: 2006.420.51a, b


Among the most dramatic pieces from Yves Saint Laurent's fall/winter 1983-84 collection of haute couture is this dramatic coat originally shown over a simple black column. In a direct reference to the voluminous evening coats from the golden age of postwar haute couture, the Saint Laurent version of heavy silk faille merges the sumptuous romanticism of Christian Dior and the sculptural drama of Cristobal Balenciaga. This coat, with its bias collar extending into front ties, may be worn pulled close to the neck, or falling away from the back and shoulders as was preferred by the dégagée client Nan Kempner.