With wonderful new vintage YSL jewellery arrivals in our store and some iconic pieces that we've been obsessing about, we felt like it was time to give you a lowdown on YSL as a brand, and how we feel about it (in case it doesn't show, we feel utterly great about it). Ladies and gents, here's the Rewind guide to the YSL DNA...
The YSL style in a nutshell
"Chanel gave liberation of the body to women," said Pierre Bergé, Yves Saint Laurent's companion and lifetime business partner, "and Saint Laurent gave power to women with the men's clothes." He took typically male silhouettes and transformed them into womenswear, empowering women to dress in a new and bold way. These pieces were daring, new and that is how classics are born.
Yves Saint Laurent stood out by creating modern classics. He embraced contrast—the masculine and the feminine, highbrow and lowbrow, the classic and the modern—to create elegant, sharp pieces that are still relevant nowadays.
We’re talking about a forward-thinking brand here, which pioneered in an array of innovations. Yves Saint Laurent is the designer who arguably did more to advance fashion than any other of his generation. Here are some examples:
- Yves Saint Laurent was the first couture house to introduce the concept of luxury prêt-à-porter in a 1966 collection called ‘Rive Gauche’
- We can credit this visionary with the women’s le smoking suit (tuxedos for women), the safari jacket, the Mondrian shift, the bolero jacket, updated peasant costumes, and heavy costume jewellery to name a few
- He was the first designer to use black models in his runway shows
- His creations were the epitome of art and fashion intertwined: YSL was deeply influenced the work of mid-20th-century painters including Braque, Picasso and Mondrian
- In 1983 he became the first living fashion designer to be honoured with a show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art
The re-branding and the value of vintage pieces
The label's recent re-branding made vintage Yves Saint Laurent pieces all the more desirable. As if vintage YSL items weren't sought after enough, this change just made them extra covetable. When a brand appoints a new creative director, it feels like a new era has begun – and the preceding designer's pieces become more collectible. Add to that the fact that the new designer reformed both the brand's name and logo, and you've got a formula for an utterly collectible – and therefore more valuable – vintage market.
Yep – nowadays, items baring the original YSL or Yves Saint Laurent logo exude a lot more uniqueness. Given that the pieces are timeless anyway, it might be time to start shopping and look at it as an investment!
Much of the Yves Saint Laurent costume jewellery was made by other respected designers. Some of this jewellery was created by Claude Lalanne, Roger Scémama, Robert Goossens, Maison Caillol, Michèle Baschet, Mason Denez, Martine Boutron and Maison Gripoix. You can probably guess that these pieces all had a different style – depending on the designer and the purpose of the piece. But one thing that these pieces have in common is their high quality and inimitable design. Check out our selection:
Whether it is the centre of the look or used as an accent, an embellished or as a stand-alone piece, Yves Saint Laurent means sophisticated and smart. A thoughtful purchase is worth the splurge as it will survive any ephemeral trends and will remain an anchor in your collection. Us and the world surrounding us might change, but a classic piece stays relevant.