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Yves Saint Laurent Jewelry

Yves Saint Laurent (FRENCH ALGERIA, 1936–2008)

French fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent pioneered “cross-design” in fashion, taking inspiration from street trends to modernize haute couture.

Saint Laurent was the first to launch a ready-to-wear label, YSL Rive Gauche Prêt-à-Porter. He was the first couturier to open boutiques for both men and women. Using traditional menswear fabrics and designs for women, Saint Laurent also literally cross-dressed, giving men and women alike chic pant suits, elegant tuxedo jackets and urban safari gear. By blurring gender-specific design, he empowered individual style while creating a scissor-sharp fashion aesthetic of sensual ease and beauty. Many of his designs are today considered timeless classics.

Born to French parents in Oran, Algeria, in 1936, Saint Laurent went to Paris at age 17 to study fashion at the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture. Just two years later, in 1955, his remarkable sketches were shown to Christian Dior, then the world’s reigning couturier, who hired him immediately.

Surprisingly soon thereafter, Dior publicly chose Saint Laurent as his successor, which sadly proved prescient when the fashion legend died unexpectedly, in 1957. A mere slip of a youth, the 21-year-old Saint Laurent was nevertheless up to the challenge. He shook the traditional couture clientele to its core with youthful silhouettes and styles like the A-line trapeze dress that hung with seeming effortlessness from the shoulders, the antithesis of the pinched waists and molded skirts that had been all the rage after the deprivations of World War II.

After a mandated spell in the torturous French military, Saint Laurent suffered a nervous breakdown and was dismissed by Dior in 1962. Out of the ashes rose the Age of Yves. With Pierre Bergé, his then-lover who became his lifelong business partner and friend, the designer founded Yves Saint Laurent YSL to encompass prêt-à-porter, or ready-to-wear. In 1966, they opened the first YSL Rive Gauche women’s boutique in Paris, followed soon thereafter by YSL Rive Gauche for men. Saint Laurent had given birth to a global brand.

His revolutionary Mondrian mini dress from 1965 is a core element of his fashion biography. It is a prime example of how Saint Laurent, an avid art lover and collector, looked to painters, from Goya to Picasso, Ingres to Matisse, for inspiration.

With its pure lines and hues, Mondrian’s ground-breaking 1935 color-block painting Composition C transmutes beautifully into a dress that is highly valued by collectors of contemporary fashion and widely copied commercially to this day. The design is the epitome of Saint Laurent’s aesthetic, requiring a meticulous hand piecing of each color block so that, despite the body’s curves, the visual plain is as flat as a canvas when the garment is worn. Mondrian’s purity met its match in Saint Laurent.

In Yves Saint Laurent: The Impossible Collection (Assouline, 2020), the Mondrian dress is shown worn on the cover of Paris Vogue, as well as on British Sudanese model Alek Wek in a photographic trifold by Christoph Sillem from 1998. Saint Laurent consistently used Black models, like Mounia, Iman and Naomi Campbell, and he drew endless inspiration from different ethnicities and cultures, in no small part because of his Algerian roots.

Browse an extraordinary collection of Yves Saint Laurent evening dresses, shirts and more today on 1stDibs.

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Yves Saint Laurent YSL 1980s Vintage Gilt and Resin Fashion Never Used Necklace
By Yves Saint Laurent
Located in Pamplona, Navarra
1980s gorgeous vintage YVES SAINT LAURENT square shape orange and red resin choker necklace! Gilt chain with the YSL logo. Can really add just that little extra elegance to any out...
Category

Late 20th Century Retro Yves Saint Laurent Jewelry

Materials

Gilt Metal

Yves Saint Laurent Green and Brown Agate Necklace
By Yves Saint Laurent
Located in Hicksville, NY
Necklace Details: Yves Saint Laurent (YSL), Iconic Designer Circa 1990s, Couture Line Features Brown and Green Agate 24 Inches in length Black and Steel Necklace Comes with Origin...
Category

1990s Modern Yves Saint Laurent Jewelry

Materials

Agate, Steel

Yves Saint Laurent YSL Paris Solid Yellow Gold Cuff Bracelet
By Yves Saint Laurent
Located in Holland, PA
18k Solid Yellow Gold Cuff Bangle Bracelet by Yves Saint Laurent YSL Paris. Details: Length: 7.5 inches Width: 1" Weight: 53.2 grams Stamped Hallmarks: Yves Saint Laurent 750 Y0314...
Category

20th Century Yves Saint Laurent Jewelry

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18k Gold

YSL Faux Bamboo Gilt Earrings, Costume Jewelry
By Yves Saint Laurent
Located in Stamford, CT
Large clip faux bamboo gilt metal earrings.
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1960s Vintage Yves Saint Laurent Jewelry

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Yves Saint Laurent
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Located in Stamford, CT
YSL cuff bracelet with large round "amethyst" stone.
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Yves Saint Laurent Jewelry

  • Yves Saint Laurent
  • Yves Saint Laurent
  • Yves Saint Laurent
  • Yves Saint Laurent
H 1 3/4 in. W 2 1/2 in. D 2 1/4 in.
Vintage 1970s Yves Saint Laurent YSL Couture Rhinestone Crystal Riviera Necklace
By Yves Saint Laurent
Located in Columbia, MO
Founded in 1961, Yves Saint Laurent or YSL has been considered one of the world's most prominent fashion houses and known for its modern and iconic pieces. This stunning YSL costume ...
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1970s Vintage Yves Saint Laurent Jewelry

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Other, Base Metal

1970s Yves Saint Laurent Silver and Gold Bracelet
By Yves Saint Laurent
Located in New York, NY
Machine age style, 1970s Yves Saint Laurent Silver and Gold Bracelet. Marks: 750, 925, French maker stamp, export stamp, Saint Laurent Paris. 1/2 inch wide x 5/8 inch high x 7 1/2 in...
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Yves Saint Laurent Paris Gold Earrings
By Yves Saint Laurent
Located in New York, NY
An elegant pair of 18K gold Yves Saint Laurent fabric inspired earrings - YSL jewelery is rarely seen in gold - these beautifully sculpted hoops typify the classic design esthetic of...
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Yves Saint Laurent YSL 1980s Vintage Gilt and Glass Fashion Necklace Never Used
By Yves Saint Laurent
Located in Pamplona, Navarra
1980s gorgeous vintage YVES SAINT LAURENT oval shape amber and honey coloured glass choker necklace! Gilt chain with the YSL logo. Can really add just that little extra elegance to...
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H 7/8 in. W 7/8 in. D 3/4 in.
Yves Saint Laurent Paris Gold Cuff Bracelet
By Yves Saint Laurent
Located in New York, NY
Timelessly chic, this elegant 18K gold Yves Saint Laurent fabric inspired cuff bracelt - YSL jewelery is rarely seen in gold - typifies the classic design esthetic of the legendary c...
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YVES SAINT LAURENT YSL Rive Gauche Necklace
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Yves Saint Laurent Bold Bead Necklace
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Timeless elegance and sophisticated understated luxury meet in this minimalist bracelet from Yves Saint Laurent, where fabulous 18K yellow and white gold is given a neat and slim sha...
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