Yves Saint Laurentrent and his mannequins, photo by Willy Rizzo, Paris. 1962.
French fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent presents his first collection under his own label on 29 January 1962 at Hôtel Forain, rue Spontini 30bis Paris. In July follows the second collection with more adventurous items that hint at street chic, such as suits with tunics.
Yves Henri Donat Matthieu-Saint-Laurent, born on 1 August 1936 in French Algeria, grew up with his two younger sisters. At the age of 18 in 1954 he went to the Ecole Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture in Paris. In 1955 Yves Saint Laurent meets Christian Dior and he begins working as his assistant. After a short while he starts to design for Dior’s accessories lines and contributes ideas for the couture collection. On 23 October 1957 Christian Dior dies and in November the company announces that Yves Saint Laurent will be its new design head.
In January 1958 Yves Saint Laurent presents his first couture collection for Dior, including his famous trapeze dresses. The same year in August he shows his Arc Line collection for Dior with looser silhouettes and longer, below-the-knee hemlines. In September 1960 Yves Saint Laurent was conscripted to serve in the French Army during the Algerian War of Independence. There was speculation that Marcel Boussac, owner of Dior, had put pressure on the government not to conscript Saint Laurent in 1958 and 1959 but reversed his demand and asked that the designer be conscripted after the disastrous 1960 season so that he could be replaced. Saint Laurent was in the military for 20 days when he received news that he had been fired by Dior and replaced by Marc Bohan. He suffers a mental breakdown and is admitted to Val-de-Grâce, a psychiatric hospital in Paris. After his release from the hospital in November 1960, Saint Laurent sued Dior for breach of contract and won. In November 1961 Yves Saint Laurent and his partner Pierre Bergé started their own fashion house with funds from Atlanta millionaire J. Mack Robinson. Ukrainian-French painter, commercial poster artist, Adolphe Mouron Cassandre designed the iconic "YSL" logo in December 1961. #ysl #yvessaintlaurent #willyrizzo #1962