All photos courtesy Amanda Lee Shirreffs.
To me, Yves Saint Laurent was truly revolutionary. His love of women was expressed in his collections, which always exuded confidence, sensuality & allure. My introduction to the power of Yves was as a young child rifling through my Mother’s cherished items. I quite frequently snuck into her vanity just to spritz ‘Opium’ – a celebrated perfume created by Yves in the '70s & a favourite of my Mother’s, to this day. It made me feel powerful & a little dangerous. I felt that it had reflected the influential women it was inspired by.
The birth of Le Smoking, a tuxedo suit created for the professional woman, was one that transformed the time. We all know of the infamous photo of Mick & Bianca Jagger, both in suits designed by Yves Saint Laurent on their wedding day.
The women he dressed always seemed to ooze coolness, confidence & individuality. It was forever in their DNA.
A few years ago I was asked to style a female singer for an event celebrating British talent at Harvey Nichols. After the performance, the PR rep kindly showed us around & asked if we would like to be introduced to anyone. Due to being alarmingly Canadian – I decided against it- nothing is tackier than a table intruder.
I could & would never predict that Bianca Jagger, my personal style-icon & muse to Yves Saint Laurent would invite us to sit at her table, making it one of the most memorable night’s of my life.
I can pretend that I accepted this invite coolly, but truthfully– I hid behind a decorative shrub until I could pull it together by chugging a glass of champagne.
After introductions, designer James Long turned to me & said: ‘Well, there you have the Queen of Style – here’s your chance to ask her what you’ve always wanted to ask.’ …Subtle. I immediately thought of YSL & the importance in her life. I unabashedly admitted that she was an icon & pioneer of the pantsuit and asked who she believed to be the best designer of that era. Unsurprisingly, she confirmed YSL- as he made clothes that fit perfectly. ‘No one could fit a suit like Yves.’ But Yves could get pricey, even to an IT girl with a famous husband. Bianca then divulged a hilarious little anecdote – that she would secretly bring her YSL suits to her tailor to get him to recreate the cuts.
One day she unknowingly wore that tailor made suit in front of Yves, who commented on how great the fit was & congratulated himself on the work. ☺ It made me love him even more!
Shop my favourite look of the moment, below! This amazing 1970s YSL tiered bow dress from Shrimpton Couture (available now!)