“The great change came when I discovered my own style… It was with the tuxedo jacket and the transparent blouse. I became conscious of the body and began dialogue with women, began to understand better what a modern woman wants.”
Yves Saint Laurent
The idea of un type parfait, or the perfect garment, was first explained by Yves Saint Laurent in 1978 during his interview with John Helpbern. The rule was simple: to design a type of garment, whether it is a blouse or a pair of trousers, that would encourage women to build the rest of their wardrobe around them, so she wouldn’t have to constantly change her wardrobe, but instead – update it with a few new items designed around the same basic prototype. His perfect never-go-out-of-style wardrobe was very minimalistic, but showed how a garment from 1962 could live in a happy visual harmony with something designed in 1968.
Pea jacket was a part of Spring 1962 collection. It looked like a feminine, softened version of a sailor’s jacket. With a widened cut and luxurious navy wool fabric, it was still a couture piece, but its functionality and gilt buttons make is feel more realistic. It could be worn with white sweater and trousers for a chic day time look or, in a slightly altered cut, combined with red, white or blue sequined dresses and a few accessories - for an afternoon out.
Tunic’s role was to lengthen the figure and hide the hips and fit to more or less every figure. It was a perfect accompaniment for long wide trousers. The look was adopted by millions of women all over the world.
Trench coat. Originally designed for Autumn/Winter 1962 collection, the coat was inspired by a garment worn by officers during WWI. Always short, above the knee, the Yves Saint Lauren’s version was made either of gabardine or navy blue jersey. The trench was immortalised after Catherine Deneuve wore the black version of the coat in Belle de Jour movie in 1966.
Loose-fitting blouse. The very first smock featured in Autumn/Winter 1962 collection was described as “a peasant’s shirt reworked as a flannel tunic that hung over the hips, creating a tubular effect.” The blouse was one of the most favourite Saint Laurent’s garments and was seen throughout his work in various forms.
Tuxedo (le smoking). An truly iconic piece that took the way women dress to a completely new level, a must-have and something everyone awaited to see at each fashion show, from 1966 to 2002. Saint Laurent used traditional men’s tailoring in a completely new way. His technique is what made the final design so unique and impossible to copy by other couturiers – something they tried on numerous occasions.
It was such a big hit, but also a very controversial design. For the first time, women wore trousers showing that they had rights and opinions. According to Maime Arnodin, a Parisian art director, “…wearing trousers at the time was absolutely revolutionary. Elle magazine run article after article on Yves Saint Laurent and his smokings, but it wouldn’t let its own journalists wear trousers to work. And Yves’s trousers were so beautiful.” Laurent Bacall said of Yves Saint Laurent trousers: “Of course, it’s Saint Laurent. If it’s pants, it’s Yves.”
The stilleto heel and dramatic jewellery were the perfect finishing touches whenever tuxedo was worn.
Safari jacket was a part of “a safari outfit” featured in the summer 1966 collection inspired by Saint Laurent trips to Morocco. The iconic piece was designed to appear in the July-August 1968 issue of Vogue magazine in an editorial featuring Veruschka photographed by Franco Rubartelli.
Jumpsuit. The most functional of them all, the one-piece pantsuit was inspired by uniforms of aviators and first shown during Spring 1968 collection. Saint Laurent often returned to this design giving it different looks, making it look like a second skin or baggy and varying the length and shape of the bottom part, from tuxedo inspired trousers to shorts with a drawstring belt.
Photo sources: Yves Saint Laurent by Duane Michals, sketch of a pea jacket of navy blue wool, white silk blouse and trousers for Spring/Summer 1962 collection, Saint Laurent's sketch of a trench coat for Fall/Winter 1986 haute couture collection, Yves Saint Laurent blouse in Women's Wear Daily July 1974, Vibeke wearing a grey stripped suit (le smoking) photographed by Helmut Newton for Vogue Paris 1975, Veruschka in a lace-up Yves Saint Laurent safari jacket photographed by Franco Rubatelli for Vogue Paris July-August 1968, Betty Catroux wearing a jumpsuit in the Saint Laurent Rive Gauche boutique, rue de Tournon for Vogue Paris February 1969 via Yves Saint Laurent and Yves Saint Laurent books
Yves Saint Laurent was never particularly found of Tom Ford and yet it was one of the Ford's campaign that I chose to start my week dedicated to the legendary fashion designer. Perhaps, it is because I will always remember these images, their strength and sensuality, the details that reminded me of the Saint Laurent's Rive Gauche. I will always love them, just as I will always love Yves Saint Laurent.
Photo source: Ai Tominaga, Carmes kass, Karolina Kurkova, Jacquette Wheeler, Liya Kebede & Caroline Ribeiro in Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche Fall/Winter 2002 campaign (photography: Steven Meisel, styling: Carine Roitfeld)
On 21 November a second Camilla Morton’s book, Manolo Blahnik's the Elves and the Shoemaker: A Fashion Fairytale, was finally available. Of course, I had to order it not only because I’ve already got the first fairy tale, but because I simply wanted to own this very special and beautifully illustrated edition – it felt like living a magical moment all over again, going on an exciting journey with Manolo Blahnik, see his memories come alive and learning about yet another amazing person who made a huge impact on fashion history.
Caudalie enzymatic peel mask. Got this little wonder last week to replace my favourite (but slightly more expensive) Elemis papaya enzyme peel. I’m very pleased with my decision because this mask actually gave me better results and I knew exactly what was in it – no parabens, no mineral oils or anything artificial.
The mask contains papaya enzymes (same as the Elemis one), plus glycolic acid and Viniferine. It’s creamy and smells beautiful.
After applying a small amount on a cleansed face and waiting for 10 minutes, my skin looked really (I mean, REALLY) smooth, brightened and wasn’t at all irritated or dry. It’s definitely a new favourite that I’ll be buying again and again and again.
A little bit of jazz, a little bit of blues, plenty of sensual piano accords are what you are going to find on a new double-disk Bottega Veneta Intreccio Uno compilation.
According to the information on Bottega Veneta website “the two-disk set and jewel case are designed by Maier himself and feature artwork by photographer Robert Longo. Each disk includes fifteen songs that have captured the imagination of Maier over the years and have been used in Bottega Veneta runway shows and store playlists. Discover a new favorite or re-visit an old one with this exquisitely-crafted pleasure.”
You can see the titles, have a listen and pre-order this super classy set on Bottega’s website. A must-have for anyone who appreciates Bottega Veneta and good music.
Natalia Semanova, one of my favourite Russian models that conquered the world of fashion back in the 1990s, photographed by Paolo Roversi for Plein Sud campaign featured in Vogue Italia 1998. So intense and beautiful the story is almost palpable.
Photo source: Natalia Semanova for Plein Sud | Vogue Italia September 1998 (photography: Paolo Roversi)
“Approaching your daily skincare routine with enthusiasm will make a much greater difference than blindly spending a fortune on cosmetics.”
Back in 2009 I have discovered The Japanese Skincare Revolution, a beauty book that became my skin care bible. Written by Chizu Saeki, a woman in her 60s who has beautiful skin and very few wrinkles, this slimline edition is based on the beauty secrets that Japanese women used for centuries and offers advice on every aspect of skin care you can think of, from daily beauty routines adapted for different seasons and skin types, to emergency remedies both for special events and repairing specific skin problems, to facial exercises and lymphatic massages that you can DIY in a comfort of your own bathroom. Every chapter contains precious and very detailed instructions and plenty of photographs whether she is talking about her signature moisturising “lotion mask” or daily face cleansing.
Even though Chizu herself spent many years running her own beauty salon and working for Guerlain and Christian Dior, her method is very down-to-earth: “This is something you can do at home, with what you have around you.”
Can’t recommend it highly enough.
Photo source: Celestial moon | Vogue Japan May 2011 (photography: Michael Thompson, styling: Simon Robins)
The other day I was wondering about body issues. Frankly, I don’t know a single woman who would be absolutely happy with the way she turned out. Alright, there are some perfect angels living among us. They’ve got legs up to here and the skin and the eyes and the brain and a few other freebies that Mother Nature felt like throwing in the body building kit. Those gorgeous girls usually become top models.
And we make the rest of the female population, with perfectly normal features, all – quite unique and, in my opinion, also beautiful as long as… we remember to love our bodies.
The body that gets properly nourished with a good diet, pampered with a few beauty products, groomed as necessary and well-maintained through regular exercise, sleep and relaxation breaks, is always a beautiful, healthy and glowing, body.
This morning I wanted to remind everyone (including myself) that every BODY needs to be loved because our body is our best friend, the irreplaceable kind. So every time you are about to eat junk, starve or diet, feel like criticising your reflection in a mirror or ignoring a totally innocent wish of going for a walk, thing again. Would you do the same things to your friend? I doubt it.
Lets start our morning with a sun salutation or any other kind of yoga or even simple stretch, followed by a healthy nutritious breakfast (mine consists of red grapefruit, natural goats yoghurt, flax and a cup of green tea), a relaxing walk before lunch and an indulgent bath in the evening. I’m sure you’ll feel the benefits and your body will be very happy, too. And making friends happy is one of the best things in the world, isn’t it?
Photo source: Solange in Vs magazine July 2011 (photography: Daniel Gurton, styling: Monica Gingold)
"When you're a fashion photographer, you must inspire a dream. With Dior Haute Couture, the dream is already there."
Over 100 couture gowns created by Christian Dior, Yves Saint Laurent, Marc Bohan and John Galliano, exquisite photography by incredible Patrick Demarchelier, most beautiful editorials from Vogue, Elle, Harper’s and Glamour and 240 pages of pure visual fashion ecstasy.
The book published by Rizzoli will be released on 6 December 2011, but can be pre-ordered on amazon right now. Today I’m celebrating the release with a few beautiful images and wondering which ones I will find in the book when I get my hands on this treasure.
Photo source: Dior Couture by Patrick Demarchelier via dior.com