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Yves Saint Laurent: A Biography

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Yves Saint Laurent: A Biography

type:
Book
Current Status:
In Season
author:
Alice Rawsthorn
genre:
Biography

We gave it an A-

A living legend whose success appears to directly correlate to his unhappiness, Yves Saint Laurent stepped up to the fashion plate in 1957, when at 21 he succeeded his mentor, Christian Dior, as chief designer for the fashion house. Over the next two decades, he made fashion history with elegantly practical high fashion. Rawsthorn’s enthusiasm for Saint Laurent’s professional genius doesn’t soften her depiction of this French forerunner, who she says has increasingly distanced himself from the world through money, mood enhancers, and an ill-tempered bulldog named Moujik. From his early 20s, when he was locked up in a mental hospital after a disastrous army stint, Saint Laurent has been emotionally fragile and socially phobic, despite his roster of high-profile friends (Andy Warhol, Bianca Jagger, Catherine Deneuve). Rawsthorn, a Financial Times writer, weaves many intimate details into her account, from Saint Laurent’s favorite dish (Uncle Ben’s rice and vegetables) to his favorite suicide fantasy (a journey to the bottom of the Seine), holding back only on the subject of his current mental state. Yves Saint Laurent: A Biography helps decrypt the life and work of a man who is inscrutable, but who has, as one friend put it, ”always, always been true to himself.”

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