Yves Saint Laurent’s genius, his personality and his attitude are a continued source of inspiration to creatives all over the world.

In 2002, 2000 people crammed into the Pompidou Centre for a fashion show like no other. This was Saint Laurent’s valedictory collection: a thrilling 40-year retrospective that reminded the world of couture of the debt owed to this singular figure.

In the early fifties, Saint Laurent had caught the eye of Christian Dior, who hired him on the spot. On Dior’s death in 1957, he found himself head of the fashion house at the age of just 21. By the mid sixties, he had gone it alone. His simple yet iconoclastic jacket, Le Smoking was more than a party outfit; it was a statement of emancipation. From safari suits to the classic robe au dos nu, his eye for timeless style would take us through power dressing and beyond. He championed women of colour as models, while his commitment to ready-made lines reflected his belief that beauty is a very necessary luxury.

Almost a decade on from his death, Yves Saint Laurent still inspires us to break barriers and make our visions a reality.

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