Illustration by Marc-Antoine Coulon.
Yves must be checking his calendar and a bit upset and anxious that no one acknowledged the 6th anniversary of his passing earlier this month and the upcoming Haute Couture collections in Paris. He and I have “chatted” about his life then and now. How lucky I am to be the conduit for so many of fashions brightest and most eternal icons and talents. The death of Yves was a very personal and deeply emotional moment for me and perhaps it is his was of saying that he is still around; at least in my mind! Yves remains one of the most enduring designers of the 20th century and certainly ranks right up there when it comes to claiming his place within the world of vintage fashion. So, without any further ado, here is what Yves had to say recently during our impossible conversation….
Jeffrey Felner: WHAT IS YOUR CURRENT STATE OF MIND?
Yves Saint Laurent: Finallement, I am at peace, no nervous breakdowns, all the cigarettes I can smoke and one of my dearest friends continue to arrive each month or so
JF: WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE PRESENT STATE OF FASHION?
YSL: Je suis désolé... it is such a terrible thing that is going on...I was criticized to be too original and having too many crazy themes and maintenant we have fools who copy and make bad clothes, ugly clothes, clothes for women with no taste and they think words can erase their horreurs
JF: WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE CELEBRITY/MODEL IDEA?
YSL: Oui, I had Zizi, Sophia, Barbra, Talitha and Catherine and so many, but they had style not like today. Today with these big breasts and big derrieres, too much maquillage and these so ugly shoes…like the shoes of Frankenstein and they cannot walk in them
JF: WHAT DO YOU THINK OF REALITY STARS TURNED INTO STYLE ICONS?
YSL: Reality stars for me were Lou Lou, Nan, Farah Dibah and Betty and Marina, and Clara ..these girls… they worked and they had taste and they had style and panache. Already, this is very different from today with ugly women such as the Kar…Karcas….merde…Kardashians! Ooh la la quelle monstres! Quelle horreurs! Comme les prostituées.. mmmm vaches!
JF: WHAT’S YOUR ADVICE TO NEW TALENT?
YSL: Observe all around you, find peace, find your look and fit, be the best you can be and do not worry like I worried all the time
JF: WHAT WAS YOUR CROWNING ACHIEVEMENT?
YSL: When I met Pierre and it was he who made my glorious life possible, all the riches, all the objets, the travel, my homes and then I say my talent was my best friend and my worst enemy. Rive Gauche, Opium, couture, le smoking et tous mes amies
JF: WHAT WOULD YOU HAVE CHANGED ABOUT YOUR CAREER PATH?
YSL: I would have hoped to be less anxious, less nervous and more strong…not so much as a sick little boy who had to always have a protector mais un rêve….but peut etre, then maybe I would not have had Pierre, so maybe I change nothing
JF: WITH WHOM WOULD YOU LIKE TO SPLIT A BOTTLE OF CHAMPAGNE? NAME ONE OR MORE
YSL: I want to be with Pierre again and Lou Lou, who has already arrived, and Betty , Nan, Marina, Clara, Thadee, Francois and Madame Vreeland ,who is running around painting everything red, and then I must locate Monsieurs Dior et Balenciaga, and maybe Karl and I will be friends again as we once were. Quel soirée!
JF: DO YOU THINK FASHION IS TAKEN TOO SERIOUSLY?
YSL: La mode is very serious…much money is spent in its creation and by those who wear it…I am sorry that so many “createurs” need so many words to explain the clothes...Pourquoi les mots? …the clothes should speak by themselves and the designer speak through the clothes not with a book ,Fashion is a business and an art
JF: HOW WOULD YOU LIKE TO COME BACK IN A SECOND LIFE?
YSL: SIMPLEMENT ….Moujik!