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Vintage 1968 Yves Saint Laurent Le Smoking Tuxedo Black Gabardine Pant Suit



First created in 1966 by famous couturier Yves Saint Laurent, the "Le Smoking" tuxedo suit for women was the first of its kind to earn attention in the fashion world and in popular culture. The silhouette pioneered long, minimalist, androgynous styles for women, as well as the use of pantsuits in modern-day society. Yves Saint Laurent was seen by many as having empowered women by giving them the option to wear clothes that were normally worn by men with influence and power. Not many people know that Saint Laurent’s tuxedo proved too ahead of its time and was initially snubbed by his haute couture clientele. Only one was sold. Paradoxically, the Rive Gauche version was a success. The label’s younger clientele was quick to purchase it, making the tuxedo a classic. Saint Laurent would go on to include it in each of his collections until 2002. This insanely chic Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche pantsuit, dating back to 1968, is fashioned in black mid-weight gabardine which works wonderfully for both day and night. The button-down jacket is cut skinny and sexy with long, lean sleeves. I love the detachable cotton-pique mock detailing and original French cuffs. The matching pants have a flattering high nipped-waist and tuxedo stripes down the sides. Yves Saint Laurent recognized the power and the beauty of the youth revolution, and created clothing that reflected that. Pants, he understood, were the direction of womenswear. An iconic piece of fashion history that can be worn with easy today. Measurements Jacket Bust:35-36 inches Sleeve Length:24 inches Total Length:25 inches Pants Waist:25 inches Hips:38 inches Total Length:43 inches This rare YSL Rive-Gauche pantsuit ensemble is in excellent condition with no rips, stains or holes. Perfectly working pant metal-zipper and all original buttons. Highly wearable and an investment piece that will continue to increase in value.


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    Ships From: Beverly Hills, CA
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About the Designer

Yves Saint Laurent

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. Saint Laurent also 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.

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 plane is as flat as a canvas when the garment is worn. Mondrian’s purity met its match in Saint Laurent.

“I am no longer concerned with sensation and innovation, but with the perfection of my style,” Saint Laurent said four years before retiring, in 2002. After a long period of ill health, he died at his home in Paris on June 1, 2008.

Browse an extraordinary collection of vintage Yves Saint Laurent evening dresses, shirts, handbags and other clothing and accessories today on 1stDibs.

About the Seller
Located in Beverly Hills, CA
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Established in 2004
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707 sales on 1stDibs
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