Thursday, June 05, 2008

Au Revoir, Monsieur

As I write today, the funerals of Monsieur, as Yves Saint-Laurent was known, are taking place at Paris's Eglise Saint-Roch, which has been considered the church of the artists for over 450 years. His ashes will be kept in the legendary gardens of his Marrakech home; maybe he would have liked the peony above - it reminded me of the exquisite roses on Laetitia Casta's head and dress, which concluded Saint-Laurent's final show.
Saint-Laurent was more than a designer or a couturier; he was an artist. With his pant suits and tuxedos, he empowered women without making them look like porn stars or sex workers, a current trend I loathe; "his" women looked happy, not jaded or on drugs. Among my favorite pieces by the master are his Mondrian dress and his Russian-inspired designs.
There have been countless tributes to Saint-Laurent over the past few days. I especially recommend Chloe's post and an interview with Suzy Menkes, the Herald Tribune's excellent fashion critic.

Saint-Laurent is survived by his mother, his partner Pierre Bergé, muses such as Catherine Deneuve, as well as thousands of women who will wear his creations and love him always.

Update: see images of the funerals, and read an article including passages from Pierre Bergé's moving eulogy.

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

Yes I too believe that he was an Artist and a sensitive intellectual....this is obvious in his clothes and the women he chose at his "muse". (I didn't know that Eglise Saint-Roch, was considered the church of the artist...wow!...)
nancy

MISS GLITZY said...

I was so busy with the exhibition that I heard about his death on monday afternoon. Yes it's a great loss but a never ending inspiration.

Rina said...

Vamos a extrañar a Monsieur Yves Saint Laurent. Tiene una carrera y una vida fascinante y también creo y estoy absolutamente de acuerdo al tipo de mujer que marcó en un momento importante de liberación femenina, nunca dejó de lado el rasgo de femeneidad, a pesar de vestir trajes de hombre y porsupuesto su legado a la alta costura. Una genialidad!

Laura said...

Yves St Laurent was the last "grand couturier"; he interpreted "elegance" in a traditional yet very modern way. I have trouble getting used to deconstructivism in fashion, not to mention porn-chic (what can be "chic" about porno). I spoke his language!

Mary-Laure said...

NANCY - yes, he was very well read and a true art connoisseur.
I didn't know the Eslise St Roch was considered the Church of the Artists until I did some research about it on the occasion of the funeral... I'll look at it in a new light next time I walk past it.

LAURA - I think many couturiers interpret elegance in a classical way (Valentino, Oscar de la Renta, Caroline Herrera, Armani...).
One designer I love today, who is both classically elegant and very modern, with a genuine love of the female body, is Roland Mouret - check him out!
And Saint-Laurent was also very daring and sometimes shocking in his days. He pioneered the pink-and-orange mix, and such trends as see-through shirts (see the Suzy Menkes interview I link to in the post).

Anonymous said...

Re: St Roch...oh I will as well! I sthat why the church was chosen do you think?

http://flickr.com/photos/vannasantoro/2282747141/in/photostream/

nancy

karina said...

Totalmente de acuerdo!

design for mankind. said...

Great tribute, Mary-Laure.

Kira Fashion said...

Rest in holy piece...

a kiss

great post

Mary-Laure said...

NANCY - wow, that's a BEAUTIFUL picture of the Eglise Saint-Roch, thanks for the link.
The church has a very interesting history from what I read; it was founded by Louis IV and pretty much ransacked during the French Revolution. Apparently playwright Corneille and garden creator Le Notre are buried there.
I'm not sure why they picked that church, but I suppose it must have something to do with this intimate connection with art.

Marie Louise said...

What a beautiful post for Saint Laurent. I had the good fortune to work for him back in the 80s and he was always a kind, elegant man.

Rina said...

I just tagged you! jaja en mi blog salen "las reglas a seguir" de este juego de preguntas que me encantó. Un abrazo.

automatism said...

Lovely post. The more I read about Saint Laurent (and with all the tributes in the last few days, it's been a lot), the more I admire his artistry and vision.

Lori

marie said...

he was truly an artist..
i wish there were more designers like him today!

Mary-Laure said...

MARIE LOUISE - wow, you worked with MONSIEUR SAINT LAURENT!!!! What an honor! Tell us more!!!! Write about this experience in your blog, I'm sure everyone would love reading it about it...

RINA - ahora voy a mirar el tag.

enc said...

A very sensitive and astute post about the master, YSL. I'm sure it was a very sad day in France, not to mention the rest of Europe.

Taocito said...

oh how sad! The creator of the lovely tux... such a loss...

Hila said...

I just posted about this too. He always seemed so gentle to me. One of my favourite memories is sitting next to my grandmother as she was sewing and watching a documentary on him on TV. I think he was the first designer I truly loved.