Important 1968-69 Yves Saint Laurent Chocolate Velvet Safari Suit
The Yves Saint Laurent safari top has become one of the holy grails in the vintage world and not only do we have a very early version of that here but also the matching pants!. This is the first full set that I have had pass through my hands and it is amazing. It originally was owned by Astrid Lundstrom who was Bill Wyman's common-law wife from 1967 till 1983. Bill was of course the bassist for the Stones from 1962 until 1993. This was acquired directly from Astrid and was worn and loved by her adding to its already amazing provenance. Countless celebrities have been spotted in this coveted look and it is one of the most identifiable of Yves' pieces ever made. This is made of a deep brown velvet that gives it depth and texture and in my opinion add to the more evening feel if it as opposed to its khaki counterparts. It has all the classic hallmarks of that tunic made famous when it was photoed on Verushka. It's short and meant to be worn as a tunic with front ties and the ties loop through down the front. The pants are cut with that perfect flare - skinny and fitted through the hip and then flare and long to the cuffs. This is an exceedingly rare piece to come up to market and it very well may be the only one in existence since Astrid did custom order pieces specifically based on her preferences in fabrics. Excellent, museum quality condition.
In the description for the Kyoto Costume for a similar set pictured here as a reference photo, they remark on the importance of this suit: "The May 1968 protests in Paris had a dramatic effect on the values of French society at the time. Yves Saint Laurent used this social movement as his pretext to push on ahead with the Pant Suit for women, something that had been taboo till that moment. Saint Laurent’s caliber as a designer is evident in this new look, which, while "unisex," remained ultimately feminine. The garment on the left, Saint Laurent’s ‘city pants,’ was acclaimed for representing the same functionality as a man’s suit. The safari suit on the right is from the designer’s 1968 Spring Summer collection, the theme of which was "Africa", and in which Saint Laurent reinvented the functional hunting suit and turned it women’s town wear."
Unlined but the fabric is self backed. The pants close with a front zipper and the top slips over the head and you adjust the ties at the front. Note that the pants did not do up in the mannequin - they are definitely an XS in size, while the top will fit a XS-SML. The pants are tagged a vintage YSL 36 and the top has no size tag. Very light patina to the velvet at the high crease areas but nothing I would deem enough to take away the rating of vintage excellent on such a rare garment. The fabric has a touch of stretch to it.
Bust: 18" flat across from side seam to side seam
Waist: 16" flat across from side seam to side seam
Hips: 18" flat across from side seam to side seam
Length: 27" from neck to hem
Waist: 12.25" flat across from side seam to side seam
Hips: 16" flat across from side seam to side seam
Length: "43 from waist to hem
Inseam : 33" from waist to hem
Modern Sizing Equivalent: The pants are XS, the top will fit XS-SML
Reference Photos: (1) Veruschka in a Yves Saint Laurent Safari Suit, 1968. Photo by Franco Rubartelli. / (2) French designer Yves Saint Laurent posing in front of his new shop in London on Bond Street with Betty Catroux (left) and Loulou De La Falaise, September 10 1969. / (3) S/S 1968 Yves Saint Laurent Safari Suit (on right) at the The Kyoto Costume Institute.
This garment has been professionally cleaned, pressed and is odor free. Thoroughly checked over before shipping, it will be ready to wear upon arrival.