After getting his big break assisting French couture titan Christian Dior, Yves Saint Laurent struck out on his own, and transformed haute couture for a new era of youthful, strong, independent women. His designs changed the course of fashion, introducing the concept of designer ready-to-wear for a wider clientele. Ahead of his time, he created feminine versions of masculine styles such as the pinstriped pantsuit, the Saharienne khaki safari jacket and Le Smoking tuxedo, and introduced scandalous ideas such as see-through blouses and the daring Opium perfume, whose titillating name and early advertisements were met with shock. He was also one of the first couturiers to design for fast fashion, creating a tuxedo for French mass-market retailer La Redoute in 1996.
With esteemed fashion journalist and Saint Laurent expert Laurence Benaïm, Assouline has curated the 100 most iconic signature pieces from Yves Saint Laurent’s forty-year oeuvre, from the very first looks that appeared on the runway in his eponymous debut collection in January 1962 following his departure from Dior, to his final couture presentation upon his retirement in 2002.
The best-selling addition to Assouline’s exclusive Ultimate Collection of handcrafted volumes, Yves Saint Laurent: The Impossible Collection spotlights all the classics: the Mondrian shift dress; the black dress with white collar and cuffs for the film Belle de Jour; the legendary Ballets Russes collection; the tributes to Picasso, Matisse and van Gogh; the tailored pantsuits and flowing “coup de crayon” draped gowns; the lavish use of velvet, lace, feathers, leopard print and brilliant jewel tones.
Complimentary white gloves and signature canvas tote bag are included with each purchase from Assouline's Ultimate Collection
Assouline’s Ultimate Collection is an homage to the art of luxury bookmaking. Hand-bound using traditional techniques, with color plates hand-tipped on art-quality paper, each page of this limited-edition series bears the unique imprint of the artisan. Treating a range of topics from jewelry and fashion, fine art and the ‘Impossible Collections,’ the Ultimate Collection curates culture from around the world and across the ages. Nestled in linen clamshell presentation cases, these books attract collectors, lovers of the printed page, and those who devour the culture of our time. Signaling a new level of sophistication for true connoisseurs, these unique books are works of art in their own right.