For the last 40 years, Yves Saint Laurent has reigned as one of the most influential and brilliantly inspired couturiers of our time. Since Saint Laurent left Dior to open his own fashion house at age 25, his dramatic designs, emphasizing the body and a seductive elegance, have completely revolutionized women's fashion. This behind-the- scenes look at Saint Laurent's first year as an independent designer features outstanding photographs by Life photographer Pierre Boulat, many of which have never been seen before; an illuminating text by the designer's biographer, Laurence Benaïm; and inside commentary by Saint Laurent's partner, Pierre Bergé. This is an unprecedented portrait showing the hard work behind the fashion genius's early and meteoric rise.
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At age 21, Yves St. Laurent took over as head of the prestigious House of Dior; at age 25, he opened his own firm; and after a lifetime of achievement, he has now announced his upcoming retirement. To mark this event, these books are being published in conjunction with 5, avenue Marceau, a documentary on his incredible 40-year career. LIFE photographer Boulat offers a photomontage of the young St. Laurent in his first year as an independent designer, while Teboul (the director of the documentary) jumps ahead to focus on the step-by-step operations of putting together the show for his Spring 2002 line. To his credit, Teboul does provide some background information on the designer, including childhood photos, a biographical chronology, reproductions of early newspaper clippings (from the scrapbooks of St. Laurent's mother), a complete checklist of his major shows, and four pages of notable St. Laurent quotes. Nonetheless, except for the childhood photos, neither the people nor the activities in any of the pictures are identified. (Perhaps they will be in the documentary.) The publisher describes Teboul's as the "definitive volume," but in fact neither book sheds much light on St. Laurent's life or career. The hundreds of photos are fun to look through (especially when they convey the energy and oftentimes frantic pace of putting together a show), but both books disappoint for lack of comprehensive documentation of this important designer's work. Margarete Gross, Chicago P.L.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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