7 months ago

CEN AUS Q1 2018

always refers to the

always refers to the late creator with his three names, as if to remind the shoppers back on Avenue Montaigne that those initials stand for something – “but the history of haute couture in the 20th century.” There was a dusty, estate-sale smell in the air, mixed with sweet incense. (“Opium,” I was told by an assistant with a wink.) The décor in the maison is how Saint Laurent left it, the swirling banister, the enormous chandeliers, the Baroque mirror, the sconces, paintings and what looks like a cigarette burn in the green carpeting. Saint Laurent’s desk remains cluttered for upstairs visitors. Flaviano turned on his wing-tipped heel. A smoky glass door opened, unveiling Saint Laurent’s contributions not just to fashion but to Western civilisation. “Here they are,” Flaviano said, arriving at a group of mannequins. “The first tuxedo, safari jacket, jumpsuit, trench coat – the Yves Saint Laurent style and how particular it was, a style that he defined in the 1960s and worked and reworked until the end of his career.” Flaviano walked quickly past sketches. “Yves Saint Laurent always and only started from a sketch, even had the model in mind as he drew,” he called over his shoulder, passing by a trouser suit from the 1960s. At that time, the notion that women could wear trousers was groundbreaking, he noted. Saint Laurent gave them permission. “He accompanied women in their emancipation.” And never stopped, Flaviano observed, saying that Saint Laurent prided himself on the refinement of ideas. “Mr Bergé used to say: ‘Yves worked for 40 years, but he could have stopped ten years after he started. He had already said everything.’ ” There are many hats on display (“He designed a hat for almost every look”), but there are no handbags. “Yves Saint Laurent was somebody, not just a brand for bags.” We stopped in front of a collection of disparate looks: a toreador look from 1979, an African-inspired dress with a raffia hem. “We call this his ‘imaginary travels’ – his inspirations from Spain, Russia, Africa, China,” Flaviano said. “It was never a copy of historic costumes, but an idea he’d seen, and he created something else.” We pause in front of a vibrant orange-and-pink embroidered cape, two colours that should not be so wonderfully juxtaposed. “And here you have the Bougainvillea cape. Yves Saint Laurent discovered Morocco in 1966 with Pierre Bergé. This is when he discovered colours.” Not colour. Colours. “It rained for two days when Yves and Pierre came to Marrakech for the first time,” Quito Fierro told me three days later in Morocco. Fierro (whose mother knew the couple, and whom Bergé referred to as his “adopted son from Morocco”) walked through the Jardin Majorelle, an actual oasis next to the new Musée Yves Saint Laurent Marrakech. Wind blows down off the mountains, across the medina, and through the palm trees and bougainvillea. Fierro now works for the PHOTO HORST P. HORST/CONDÉ NAST VIA GETTY IMAGES 70 CENTURION-MAGAZINE.COM

Saint Laurent in Marrakech in 1980