Yves Saint Laurent (French (born Algeria) Oran 1936–2008 Paris)
silk, metallic thread, beads, sequins
Gift of Diana Vreeland, 1984
Not on view
While a long, lean body remained the ideal in the 1980s, a new, wide shoulder began to be appended to the silhouette. Ornately rendered here by Yves Saint Laurent, the shoulder provided a foundation from which fabric could be draped down to a contrastingly narrow waist. In the hands of some 1980s designers, shoulders were padded out to absurd widths. To a degree, this was a revival of 1940s fashion. Toward the end of the 1980s and into the '90s, historicist revivals by fashion designers have created such a multiplicity of silhouettes that finding the defining one will have to wait. Marguerite Duras wrote in appreciation of Saint Laurent's synthesizing imagination, "I tend to believe that the fabulous universality of Yves Saint Laurent comes from a religious disposition toward garnering the realbe it man-madethe temples of the Nileor not man-madethe forest of Telemark, the floor of the ocean, or apple trees in bloom. Yves Saint Laurent invents a reality and adds it to the other one, the one he has not made." In this case, Saint Laurent invents a mysterious East and adds it to the Stendhalian valor of formal military dress.
Marking: [label] (a) "Yves Saint Laurent/Paris/Made in France/5132"
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Diana Vreeland: Immoderate Style," December 9, 1993–March 20, 1994.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Yves Saint Laurent: 25 Years of Design," December 6, 1983–September 2, 1984.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Extreme Beauty: The Body Transformed," December 4, 2001–March 17, 2002.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Orientalism: Visions of the East in Western Dress," December 8, 1994–March 19, 1995.
The Palace Museum, Beijing. "Yves Saint Laurent 1958–1985," May 7, 1985–July 14, 1985.
Museum of the City of New York. "The Best of the Dressed List," October 20, 1986–May 17, 1987.
Museum of the City of New York. "Glamour: New York Style," February 14, 2005–June 13, 2005.
Palazio Fortuny - Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia. "Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has To Travel," March 10, 2012–June 26, 2012.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "China: Through the Looking Glass," May 7, 2015–August 16, 2015.