Yves Saint Lau­rent

1957–1960:

Simply You - - Heritage -

Eigh­teen-year-old wun­derkind Yves Saint Lau­rent was ap­pointed Dior’s as­sis­tant in 1955 and pro­moted to head de­signer in 1957, aged just 21. His first col­lec­tion, Trapèze, in 1958, marked a shift from the cinched-waist styles Chris­tian Dior had favoured and in­tro­duced a fresh sil­hou­ette with nar­rower shoul­ders and a flared hem, set­ting the tone for a brave new era. His 1960 col­lec­tion, Beat, was in­flu­enced by Paris streetwear and youth cul­ture and by the beat­niks of the time – a fun­da­men­tal shift in fash­ion. It pro­posed a leather jacket (pic­tured far left) as a cou­ture item for women, a move that proved to be too much of a de­par­ture from the then-con­ser­va­tive la­bel’s tra­di­tional la­dy­like look and saw the de­signer con­tro­ver­sially fired.

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