Yves Saint Laurent

by Sophea

YSL plays a really important part in bringing the 40’s style back in the 1970’s. In his 1971, spring/summer Liberation collection, Yves Saint Laurent caused a scandal and uproar by applying the style of war time France to his current collection. He was one of the first designers to hearken back to the styles of the 1940’s. A lot of things seemed to suggest that people of the time felt these designs were trying to romanticise the German occupation of France.

During the war, clothing was rationed and only those who were prostitutes or horizontal collaborators (like CoCo Chanel) could afford luxury clothing, which is why YSL’s glamorisation of the period as treated as an insult.

‘Born postwar this young generation didn’t see the ”horror in these outfits” but appreciated it’s worked aesthetic’


As much as his critics resented this collection, it still helped create a whole movement where other companies and designers took inspiration from this collection, and applied it to their own work. This is how the Grey Wool jumpsuit I look to make came to be. This leaves me open to the possibility of looking not only into the 70’s and the designers that were inspired by YSL, as well as YSL himself, I can also focus my energy on the 1940’s.