Forever in Fashion

Focus On Yves Saint Laurent

January 13, 2002|By Stephanie Shapiro | Stephanie Shapiro,Sun Staff

When a working woman yanks a pantsuit off the rack at Marshalls or TJ Maxx, she can -- if she thinks about it -- thank Yves Saint Laurent for the privilege. We, on the trickle-down side of Saint Laurent's haute couture, take his closet practicality for granted. But someone had to think of it and stitch it into suitable reality.

The revered French designer, who announced his retirement on Monday, became a fashion star when he took over the House of Christian Dior at age 21. He went on to bring us the see-through blouse, the black leather jacket and safari chic, liberation on all fronts. In his farewell statement, Saint Laurent, 65, expressed an intimate affinity for dressing women: "I wanted to put myself at women's disposal. That is to say, to serve them, to serve their bodies, their gestures, their attitudes, their life."

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